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Douglas and I both grew up with good memories of sibling fun and we expected the same from our children.
At times when differences and annoyances came up we put effort into explaining the frustration or hurt behind the offensive action and at other times pointed out gestures of sweetness.
Shared experiences are bonding and we took off for a travel adventure when the children were 4, 6 and 8. We went from Japan to remote areas of the Himalayas and on to England staying away for two years. Memories can be the best of gifts!
I just read about a school visit Jean Houston did as a child to Einstein’s home. One of the children asked him “ how can we get to be as smart as you?” and he answered “ read fairy tales”. Another obviously cheeky child asked “ how can we be smarter than you?” - his response -“read more fairy tales”.
A challenge for this digital age but the message is to feed the imagination, allow space for daydreaming; spend as much time outdoors as possible. Also display their paintings, drawings or written work and clap heartily if they put on a play or concert. An elder advised me when our children were young to make sure I spent 10-20 minutes every day playing one to one with each child.
Holiday memories always come to mind first. Digging a sunrise hot pool at Hot Water Beach or reading exciting novels to them in the pools. Also rockhounding was fun, wading up remote rivers and the occasional thrill of finding fossilised wood, jasper or even amethyst. A kind man in a minerals museum had given us a map showing where interesting rocks could be found. Crazy fun moments with a lot of laughs are memorable too.
My mother was unconventional and always encouraged looking at everyday life with different perspectives. She had a few sayings which were annoying at the time but have continually come to mind and have been helpful.
“ You don’t know what you can do till you try”.
“If at first you don’t succeed then try, try again”.
Ace has adapted this one cleverly to…
“If at first you think the worst then think, think again”
When the children were small we kept their first little front teeth and Douglas set them in silver to hang from a necklace I wore for many years.
I also had a turquoise ring set in gold engraved with a lotus and the Tibetan knot of eternity which Morgan gave me and I treasured as it represented our travels and the teachings we received together in India and Bhutan. Sadly lost.
Now I love wearing the Lou Lou earrings and a long crystal necklace which constantly reminds me of possibilities.