... a bit of that

Places to visit, things to see in Jozi and people you grow to love.

I have been wanting to visit this spot for ages, and today finally got the opportunity and share the experience with Noids’s dad, Tjaart and his Mom Mary.

The Troyville Hotel located in a run down area…. no contemporary Dairnfern in sight but you can view Ponte and the Hillbrow tower. The slum we stayed in after my father died and before my mom married money. It was not as poor as it is now but ladies on the night still operated outside my flat window.

A bit of a remembering for me as I use to walk those streets as a teenager with my friend Vicky….and so did Noid’s dad with his ducktail buddies decades before me.

The food was traditionally Portuguese….with my new black hair I was spoken to in the native language… I had to explain, I don’t speak the lingo hey but Shalom! We had traditional chicken soup, huge steaks…vegetables and Mommy Mary and I had Rice Pudding which was delicious – yes, pictures below. 🙂

It was a really relaxing afternoon. I really enjoyed it.

Something on my heart….. I may not hug trees, care for the environment but today I feel I have captured the hearts of Noid’s parents……finally. Perhaps they have loved me a long time, but accepting the girl who says fuck can’t be easy! I am never going to give birth to their grandchild, but I did help give birth to who their son truly grew to be….and he has told me that much….and I did help deliver two very hurting children out of an ugly divorce.

I am starting to feel more accepted as the loskop, loud, tattooed girl their son married {I know I am not first prize daughter in law material for anyone!} I even feel loved and that my in-laws may just find me entertaining and amusing at times. Is nice.

Noid drew plans of our new house on the table-cloth. They wanted to see the house but that was not possible today. Noid is very proud and it is tangible…..

There is a sense of having shown those in his past who told him he wouldn’t amount too much, that they can not collect R200 and not pass begin. {Look! I didn’t say go fuck yourself!} Their predictions were so wrong about him as a man, a husband, a father, a provider, a career, an ongoing student and I am happy he has reached a point of achievement on so many level.

I say thanks for the experience his previous two wives have provided and left me a man I could refine and just perhaps *I* have something to do with how he turned out besides his hard work and efforts…. Except for the names and a few other changes, my story is the same one! Thankfully none of us stay stagnant…. We are not who we use to be, and not even close to how great we can still become.

I love my step kids, all of them… I will buy rugby cards for Douglas, or a Hello Kitty sock for Jenna-Lee or deposit pizza money for Nic…. even if I often feel ignored, unacknowledged or the emotional and occasional physical work I put in is not noticed… It is a rollercoaster ride at best.

I am a much nicer step mom than my kids have ever had and my own kids have told me that with regards to how I treat my step kids. I was sitting here thinking of anything positive my boys have ever said about their step mom over the past decade. Oh…. she makes nice potato bake. Well, that counts. One day when my step kids are big, they will realize I had no horns and my care was sincere. I think my in-laws appreciate that, I know my husband do, just as he gives to his step kids Kev, Liam James and Victoria.

Noid and I both make mistakes as step parents. ALL parents stuff up, biological family or not. We say stupid things, we want everyone to be treated freely, we tired, we act out, we NORMAL! We fight until an agreement is reached. We loud and we want our own way… but eventually we reach a place which we feel we can both deal from.

Step parenting  is one of the most difficult relationships you can ever experience. Raising your own kids can be very difficult but fun….. and love is automatic, but step kids add a dimension you never imagined. It has all the good and the bad…. regardless of what you put into the relationship…you always mean less than the parent they return to.

I always tell the kids I never want to replace their Mom! She is their special somebody. She is THE ONE who loved them first and they must respect her, love her and treat her like gold. I always reassure them it is okay to miss Mom etc, and that it is okay to cry. I have comforted over the years, wiped tears when they fall, given medicine or rubbed a bump. I wouldn’t mind being the eccentric aunt they rather fond off! I do expect mothers day gifts as I do the job often and well, I want to feel special and acknowledged. I am just a girl, really – who wants to be loved. Noid, I think, as a man wants to be appreciated and respected… acknowledged for the hard work he puts in, not just financially – but on many levels. It is hard and not for the faint hearted. Thankfully we are African and Africa darlings… are not for sussies!

Sometimes when the kids leave they hang on you saying goodbye, sometimes they came back and say thank you with sincere tears out of nowhere….sometimes you get nothing emotionally at all, other times they share freely and talk to you about all kinds of things….but you keep giving, keep trying, keep loving… keep being the stand in ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. You try. There is no turning back, I love your father far too much and have fallen in love with three new kids in the process while loving my own children with great passion and the same is true for Noid because he has told me so and we have both LIVED that committment to each other and our kids.

I learned today:

I am valued and I add value. I am worthwhile… even after all my mistakes, nobody is just going to give up on me. I am okay.

I wish you patience, African courage and Portuguese steak!

Wenchy

10 thoughts on “Places to visit, things to see in Jozi and people you grow to love.”

  1. As I sit here having a small cry, I want to tell you that I am proud of you in so many ways, and I thank you for the many things you have done for me and for my kids.

    Words cant describe the emotions sufficiently, they cant even come close, but you have summed things up so well. We have done great. Dont ever forget that!

    I alluded to our “Big Picture” in my other comment this morning and it is an evolving living thing but something I have always believed in with everything in my being and I know we are there…….. so there …. it sometimes surprises me because it has been a long hard road getting there.

    I love You dear Christel-Michel and so do so many others who you have effected in so many ways. Dont ever forget that!

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  2. Haven’t “visited” in a while. But here I am.

    I have been to the that hotel – but on the ghost tour thing.

    I think any parenting-type role is extremely difficult. Especially with the “challenging” kids we have. 🙂

    xx

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  3. This post made me cry! Good tears.
    You are an amazing AWESOME woman!
    Your entire family, those born to you, those you are born from, those that came to you through marriage and those that came to you through friendship are so so lucky to have you in their lives!!! (Me included!!!)

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  4. Jy is die moeite werd – moet dit nooit vergeet nie. Step-anything is difficult. I don’t have experience of it, but I can see how R and J deal with stuff – I didn’t interfere at all as they needed to find their own common ground, and they did.

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