Sunday, 20 May 2012

Children, the Great Leveler

A very happy Sunday evening to you! I hope you've had a weekend full of happiness, love and lots of laughter!

I like to think of myself as someone who is satisfied with certain areas of her life. I’ve travelled a fair bit and seen some wonderful places, I have met some extraordinary people, people who have changed my life for the better, I have the most fantastic friends, read lots of books, seen lots of theater, learned to speak German and other things like that. So in my head I think I’m a little bit bright and can hold my own in a debate when I feel strongly about it (especially when it comes to the merits of Jackson Pollack). I feel I can cope with most things and still find the funny side and I try not to take myself too seriously. I’ve noticed though that if I do start to think that I have it all sewn up then one, or both, of my children bring me down to earth with such a bump it makes my teeth rattle.

Children are such an amazing leveler, there is nothing as pure, simple and honest as a child. They are so good for the soul. Paul and I have f ound the last 4 months quite difficult with the children being in a constant sickness cycle. It has taken its toll on us and the kids and boy are we tired! There have been nights when we have survived on 2 hours and some nights not even that. From cleaning poorly nappies, sicky sheets, to just holding them when they needed to be held, but we worked together and I feel we are finally coming through the other side! Phew!

It was especially hard with our little Ben, seeing him so small and suffering so much but as we are now nearly four months on from where it all started, it seems that time has just gone by so quickly. Ben is 8 months and the poor little man has been poorly for four months of that. It's definitely time for some spoiling! Yet amidst all that, our little girl turned 2 a couple of weeks ago. Now that is certainly scary. It seems only yesterday that I was lying in the maternity ward, scared out of my mind, not knowing what to do or what was going to happen... That was the easy part. Our little lady is growing up (too quick). I really need to find some kind of device that slows time down, if anyone has one - let me know! I saw this the other day and well... I couldn't put it better myself!

First, Lord:
No tattoos.

May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be beautiful but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design?

I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her own heart with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need not lie with drummers.

Grant her a rough patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day –
And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a ‘Bitch’ in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me.

And she will forget.

But I’ll know, because I peeped it with your God eyes.


Taken from Tina Fey's book "Bossypants"

Of course our kids will have dreams of their own, we understand that as parents. We certainly don’t want them to have our dreams that would be awful. But we do want them to know desire and envision a big life and understand that dreams are not a gift, given to you, but a journey that a person has to take, with all the twists and turns in the road that your dream presents you with.

Sometimes I wish I was rich, rich so that I could look after my family without having to worry about every penny. I wish we could jet off on holidays and drive fancy cars but suddenly reality hits and I realise, I already am rich. I have two beautiful children and a wonderful husband. The children haven't a clue about money. All they care about its the richness of family life. The cuddles from daddy and mummy, the stories, the songs, the laughter and the happiness. For them, that is rich.

And as we sit surrounded by the left overs of Sunday dinner, I realise that my husband and I have a job to do raising them, as every other parent before us has had. No different really just a different set of problems and we’ll get there if we pay attention and relish the task.

Which we do.

These are just thoughts today. Thoughts that I find good to bash out on to the keyboard. That’s OK I think, it’s always OK to examine dreams and desires when you have children because one day you may be called upon to guide them through theirs and I want to be as ready as I can be.

I love you and thank you for reading,



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