When my little girl was born I bought a beautiful journal, formatted in such a way that it records key moments and experiences in our intertwined lives, from birth to a mighty eighteen years old. It’s an ambitious commitment, aiming to keep it going for so many years. I hope I am equal to the task as I really do think it will be a lovely keepsake to pass to her one day. It does also have its limitations though, as it takes a very broad approach and only needs to be completely once or twice a year. So whilst it is not particularly onerous, it also means that a lot of stuff is forgotten by the time you get to filling it in.
This time round I’m still going the journal route (you can’t leave the second one out with even the smallest of things, otherwise it comes back to bite you when they are older doesn’t it?! Parenting 101!). But I am also trying something a bit different. More of a weekly snapshot of our family life.
So, a seven-day week and seven things to reflect it. An unashamed homage to the weekly merry-go-round that is family life and parenthood. Same headings each time, enabling reflection on how life unfolds over the weeks and months. There are so many ‘firsts’, so many extra special moments with babies and children. I’m hoping that this will give me a fun, quick and easy way to look back on those moments and remember the little details, as well as the context of our life at the time.
Family fun: top shot.
Pause for thought.
l am by no means a rugby aficionado, and I haven’t got a clue what is happening with the Rugby World Cup. But I happened to have Radio 4 on the other day and overheard a clip from an interview with the New Zealand team’s coach, Steve Hansen. I was very impressed by his sportsmanship, talking about the World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia, which New Zealand eventually won 58-14:
“I am really happy for Namibia, they are a good bunch of guys and I thought they acquitted themselves commendably,” he said. “When they got tired near the end of the game it became quite messy, that is what you expect, but early in the game they committed themselves totally to the breakdown and the tackle and they should be really proud of themselves. They were worthy opponents. They gave everything they could give.”
He didn’t need to say those things. As I don’t follow rugby, I don’t know Hansen well enough to comment on his character generally, but doesn’t it give a good first impression that he did? Too often these days I think players and coaches – across various sports – are indulged by the public, sporting bodies and the media. It seems to be becoming acceptable for many of them to resort to a default of discourteous, unsporting conduct, where they show neither respect for themselves, their opponents, nor the sport that they compete in. I think it damages the sport, and I think it also sets a really poor example to their fans and for future generations of sportsmen and women. All credit to Steve Hansen – a commendable attitude which I found really heartening to hear.
Memories are made of this.
Our little man, a whole seven weeks old and screaming the house down one afternoon because he’d woken from his nap (believing that he was!) starving! Our girly goes running over to pat his tummy reassuringly, saying over and over ‘you’re alright, you’re alright, you’re alright’ until he stopped and looked at her. Then she stroked his head and said ‘feel better now’. My heart almost melted.
Laugh out loud.
In conversation with our girly…
(me): you’re awesome, do you know that?
(her): no I’m not!
(me): (laughing) yes, you are! You’re awesome and we love you to bits.
(her): no mummy, I’m a rumdinger!
Oh. Okay. Fair enough then. Used colloquially in England and in our house especially when she’s being a proper little monkey. It seems we’ve been saying it a lot recently!
“A pencil and a dream can take you anywhere”
I actually saw this in the October edition of Psychologies magazine, which my lovely sister-in-law had packaged up and sent me as part of my birthday present earlier this month. It’s a special treat as I really enjoy the articles but it’s sadly not a publication you can get your hands on out here. Since I last saw a copy they’ve introduced something called ‘Good Thoughts’ pages. There are a handful of them interspersed through the edition, and they have an inspiring or uplifting quote, accompanied by an appropriate image. A really great idea, and so much more meaningful than yet another glossy advert for a lipstick or handbag or whatever. This one really struck a chord with me.
Music makes me happy.
Lunchmoney Lewis – Bills. Silly song. Even sillier music video. No points for highbrow artistry on this! But this came on the radio while I was bleary eyed, driving my girly to nursery. It is so infectiously bouncy and catchy, you can’t help feeling uplifted by it.
Seeing my good friend Angelica for a long overdue catch up on Friday. It was her birthday so there was – of course! – cake. After a few days cooped up with poorly children it was exactly what I needed.
So, that’s my week on the merry-go-round. It made me smile all over again, just writing this post. Same time, same place for seven more beautiful memories next week…