Manly Fish

Not as in the place Manly, but as in not girly fish.

Yesterday I made this for my husband to take to work and hang on his noticeboard near his desk.

I had some fish left over from my current project and I wanted to experiment with some quilting. Through the day we spoke on the phone and I told him that I was making something for him to take to work.
“That sounds lovely”, he said. “Is it something…manly?”
Now this surprised me. I wouldn’t have expected my lovely, gentle, softly-spoken guy to say that. At home he wouldn’t have worried, but he obviously has an image to uphold at his mostly male office. A manly image.

If I had had the time I would have whipped up something with purple and pink bunnies surrounded by lovehearts and roses. Instead I just did this…

Now he has to explain to everyone why those fish come from Sydney.


Today some people are coming to our house to do a preliminary interview of our daughter. She wants to go overseas on exchange next year. My sister listed to me all the reasons why she will be selected: independence, confidence, intelligence, involvement, leadership. These things are all true and I agree that she is a wonderful candidate and would represent her country proudly. She would learn and grow and develop, she will become an adult. These are all great things.

BUT…when I offer my support for her, I am giving tacit approval for her to leave our house. It won’t be the same house again. There will be three, one missing. A good mother supports the dreams of her children (that’s me). A bad mother sends her children away (that’s also me). I raised her to be her own person, this is what should be, but I don’t want to stand up and help her out the door.


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9 responses to “Manly Fish

  1. Brenda

    I was a Rotary exchange student to Washington State, USA in 1983 and my sister Amy went to Belgium as an exchange student in 1997. Due to technology and location factors, there were many differences in our exchange experiences. However, I can confidently say that if your daughter is selected as an exchange student, it has the potential to be an amazingly enriching and enduring experience not only for your daughter but your entire family. And if your daughter is not selected or an exchange does not proceed for other reasons, going through the interview process is also a great learning experience.

  2. Tracey Petersen

    Yeah…I know all of this. I’m just worried about me, I guess.

  3. aunty evil

    That fish is gorgeous, I love the quilting you have done around it!

    Tracey, I am sure you are reciting to yourself over and over “if you love something, set it free blah blah”

    Stiff upper lip girl, it won’t be easy, but you will get through it.

    Now go and remove all electronic devices, tvs, radios and computers from your younger children so they can’t discover that there’s a world out there! 🙂

  4. Stomper Girl

    “The bravest thing that you can ever do is let them go and be their own person.” As said by you to me, actually. But oh boy, this bravery/motherhood stuff is just…HARD!!!

    Good luck with it, Tracey. A year will go pretty quickly.

    Love the manly fish!

  5. Tracey Petersen

    So true about the bravest thing… but she could be her own person in the same country! I will be excited for her eventually. I will make her set up a blog before she goes. The world is a small place now. Right???

  6. Brenda

    An exchange blog is definitely a great plan. When I went away on exchange in 1983, phone calls were very expensive – I had only 3 calls home in the entire 12 months. However, I did write LONG letters home at least once a week and my family did the samein return. I still have all of those letters. It’s a while since I looked at them but they are my own treasures.

  7. Molly

    When one of my children went away to college my neighbour wrote me a lovely card about what a “mixed bag” motherhood is.On the one hand you want them to have all these wonderful, enriching experiences, and on the other you want to hold them close….Love your manly fish—beautiful quilting, looks like bubbles. I’m sure his Inner Prince will love it! here from SG…..

  8. Tracey Petersen

    Thank Molly. I guess if I think about it, I am sad for my family changing. It won’t be the same and I quite like it as it is!
    The manly fish taught me a bit more about the inner prince’s public persona.

  9. h&b

    I love the embroidered personal wishes to your man – gorgeous !

    I too was a Rotary Ex. Student.
    Went to California for a year in ’88. I’m still in contact with some of the families I lived with back then, and have been back to visit with my husband.

    And yes, it is a small world now. Like brenda, I had little contact while I was away – probably only 3x phone calls also. A blog would have been fab-o !

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