I like watching my youngest writing in his journal. Writing his Christmas wish list which includes 'artists book' and the most delightful spelling of Picasso. I like hearing my eldest talking about how much he is enjoying being a narrator for the nursery christmas play and I realise that yes, I was right. He is content that he has been noticed, that he is being heard. We all long to be heard, in the quietest or loudest of ways, just heard, to be heard. I like hearing the sweetest of news, like my dear friend phoning to tell me that she is having a baby boy! A boy! I like the giggles that my boys got into when we tried to make a video for our friends in celebration of this news of a boy and how that video ended up being take number five with my finger in the shot and the boys not remembering their unrehearsed lines. I like the pounding in my chest that occurs when I think of my Aunty Adelaide and I picture her sat on the veranda just behind the low iron gate that is painted bright blue, surrounded by trees heavy with mangoes and scented aloe vera plants. I like the painting that sits on our mantlepiece that echoes the same colour as Aunty Adelaide's gate. The one painted by my precious niece Nini or Naomi if we're using her birth name. The one that says 'God loves you' that makes my heart sing each time I glance at it. I like the fact that my boys speak openly about my brother, their estranged uncle. I want him to be a part of their lives and mine even if it is in some small way. I like it that 'someone' has their first crush and that I was able to pass on the classic 'my shoelace just came undone' trick, you know for when you want to get an extra sneaky peek of the her or him that you like. I'm not sure that a certain 'someone' took on my words but I liked sharing them and seeing 'someone' smile and then really laugh at their ridiculous mama. I like that my last thoughts before falling asleep last night were 'couldn't Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have made it work?'. I like that it reveals my inability to focus on what's important, my inability to prioritise fixing my own emotional messes. I like that this spells that out in black and white. I like that I remembered to show my eldest Aretha Franklin performing one of my favourite songs. As the song ended he said 'Don't play that song for me again' and I almost didn't get the joke. I like the way my eldest boy plays 'No woman, No Cry' on the acoustic guitar that has me so nearly reduced to a puddle of tears. I like the text messages that come through from my hubby each morning at the moment, the ones that update the kids on what his colleague Tom is munching on, in the office they share. I like that I've sat in that office with my hubby and Tom and had a window into their morning routine. When you're me it's good to list some likes because sometimes the list starts with many 'I hate it when's.... ' so I encourage you, happy people, sad people, fellow grinchy people, make a list. A good one, for santa or just a gift for yourself.