Be more Kate.

It’s been a week since the world lost someone vibrant, bright, bold and brilliant. A week since a sudden, shocking illness saw us lose Kate Sutton – known to so many as Wit Wit Woo from her very popular blog.

Kate was my friend. Not just ‘an internet friend’ – something I don’t really think I believe is different to ‘proper’ friends anyway – but someone I regularly turned to on hard days, who I supported when she had her own. We shared some experiences – not nice ones – and both survived them and came out of them bigger and better and braver. But we were both able to talk to each other about the ways we didn’t feel brave at all.

Losing Kate – someone who was known for always bouncing back, for being impossible to knock down for long – so suddenly has been a terrible shock. It has been so powerful to see the enormous, overwhelming outpouring of love in response to the news – the hundreds and hundreds of people donating to help her two sons – the boys she was endlessly, unabashedly, unrelentingly proud of, every moment of every day – to give her the best send off they can, but also to just survive for a while as their world shifts.

To see thousands of #bemorewitwitwoo posts on Twitter, to see so many gorgeous smiling women braving their bikinis for swim suit selfies in Kate’s honour – because, oh, did she love to be proud and encourage that pride, no matter who you are, what your size, to celebrate beauty in all forms – she was so encouraging, so supportive, and had already had an impact on my self-view, on stopping me from hiding myself away just because I’d gained weight.

Kate has set off a positivity cannon. Losing her could suck a vast, sparking, rainbow (and, let’s be honest, leopard print) hole into the world – she was too full of life to simply be gone. But people aren’t letting her loss break them down – instead, we are celebrating her. We are honouring her.

I am so proud that I knew her, that I got to call her my friend, that I got to tell her that I love her, before she was so suddenly lost. I am so grateful that I had the chance to laugh and cry and laugh some more with her, and to share some experiences that bonded us.

I am all the more proud that I have seen so much love pouring from so many people, that so many have come together to support her beautiful boys, that they get to see the enormous, world shifting impact their wonderful mother had, simply by being herself.

Kate – I love you. The world without you is never going to be the same – but you haven’t truly gone, because you live in the hearts, the smiles, the positivity and the outpouring support that so many people are offering to each other in your honour.

Thank you for being my friend.

Pochemuchka

I learned a new word today – it’s a Russian word, Pochemuchka, which translates as “a person (usually child) who asks too many questions” (or “person who talks too much”, according to Writers Magazine, but I think they’re less correct!)

 

This is ABSOLUTELY a word that would have been applied to me – with either definition – as a child, and one which could be applied to both of my sons, with their always busy minds and their never still lips.

I swore I’d never be a parent who said “just because” or “because I said so” – that I would give my children my attention, my time, my focus, every time they requested it, so their questions were never left unanswered – and that, when I was baffled, I’d find the answer for them, with them – and I try, truly I do, but I think the greatest gift I was ever given was a CD of Encarta ’95 – and as time has moved on, I have gifted my sons the magic of “this is how to Google that…”

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It backfires at times when my 9yo, the walking embodiment of World’s Biggest Ego, tells me I’m wrong about something, then backs himself up with facts and evidence (so frustrating…) but the world is so crammed with knowledge, and their minds are sponges, so ready to soak it all in.

This week, I learned a new word – and tomorrow, when they wake up, I’ll teach it to my sons – probably call them it affectionately (in place of “stinky butt”, their current shared moniker) and in return, they will babble their new knowledge at me, forgetting that I’ve been their age and discovered all these things already – and I will have to remind myself that they haven’t and so have the benefit of magic, the world being full of new things, excitement, and wonder.

This week my eldest, at 9, has discovered that he rather likes football, that you can enjoy a thing even when you aren’t personally very good at it, and that the camaraderie of shared happiness can lift the whole country. He has also discovered The Hobbit, and that being on stage fills him with happiness, and he might like to do more drama.

My youngest, at 7, has FINALLY discovered the mind-blowing magic of Tooth Fairies, of celebrating someone else’s moment in the spotlight, and that he, in fact, does not much care for football, but rather likes the fast cars.

And I have discovered a new word which has reconnected me to my childhood self, and to the innocent marvel my babies feel for learning new things, and made me think that I need to take the occasional moment to just listen to them, hear them, and remember that this is their first time here, and the world is a wonderful place.