I want to introduce you to Syleena, Josh and their son, Te Whiti Jack. Syleena is a dear friend of mine – we used to work together at Te Papa, and sharing a pod, we bonded over 90s R’n’B videos, social justice, fine china and Matariki. As this life would have it, we got pregnant and became mothers within five months of each other. And so much more of our friendship has been forged through this – through our intense love for our boys, for a desire to raise them right and well.
Anyway, when Albie crashed onto ECMO, I called Syleena. I didn’t call many people, but I called her. I don’t know what I said, but I remember her going “Okay, okay, okay” We both knew clearly it was not, but what else could be said? And then later, a more composed message arrived. She wrote about how she could see our boys playing together again, how it would actually all be okay. The vision was so far out of reach and so romantic. I felt stupidly desperate, but I clung to it anyway.
So Te Whiti turned two the other week, and me and Albie packed our bags and ventured north to their new home. To their IDYLLIC new home – to oranges, wisteria, avocados, magnolia, a view of the sea, a swing in the tree. The whole kit and kaboodle. A beautiful life. To celebrate their beautiful son’s second year.
And there, finally, Syleena’s words came true. Our boys playing together. Syleena hid pirate ‘treasure’ in the sandpit and they dug to find it. Jack preferred to give away his treasure to Albie than to have it himself. They keep such lovely company together – two gentle and open souls.
Away you grow boys, away you grow……