Thanks to Tom and Louise for comments regarding the last two posts, especially for the really encouraging one from Louise about the blog generally - sometimes I wonder why I do this - whether it is about ego (probably), keeping up my writing (definitely) or just to reach out and say 'hi, lets look at things a different way'. I don't spend a huge amount of time blogging, and quite often use stuff I have prepared for other contexts, but now I feel a renewed sense of purpose and value to it!
Now, as was becoming obvious, time for the third instalment:
Things I do because of my kids
The influence, over the past five years or so, that having kids has had on me is tremendous. I know that parents go on and on about how it changes your life and there are lots of jokes made about lack of sleep or lack of sex life or lack of freedom (i think most of these jokes are more about expressing angst re: parenting than actually having anything funny to say!) but there are some things which come from not necessarily having children but working with them, listening to and sharing with them and generally taking note of them. These may seem a bit more obvious than some of my previous thoughts over the past couple of days, but i am going to write them anyway.
Be open to wonder - the world is an amazing place, remember this at all times
Laugh - a familiar theme, methinks, but I love the amount of laughter there is in our house, over anything and everything.
Cry - no point repressing everything.
Dance - even if you are round and not at all co-ordinated. It's not about looking good, its about having fun.
Take risks - everything is scary to start with, but the more you try, the more you get out of life
Reject things which taste nasty - even if someone tells you it is special. But be willing to try them a couple of times before making your mind up.
Ask questions - and keep asking them if the answers don't make sense, no matter how annoyed the person you are asking seems to be getting.
Sleep well, and whenever possible - clear consciences and a willingness to conk out when you are tired are invaluable.
Let people know when you think something is unjust - be willing to say 'it's just not fair'.
Eat together - meals alone, even with the TV on just aren't as good
Value rituals - even little ones - a candle lit at supper time, books read before bed, prayers said before sleep.
Give me a few more hours and I could go on even more. Reflecting on this stuff over the past few days has been a really moving experience, and made me realise just how fortunate I am to have had to the life I have, and the people who've shared it. I may well have more of these 'things I do because' to do, but for now I will leave you with these three...