Wednesday, 9 January 2008

To Preserve Children.

1 large grassy field.
1 half-dozen children.
3 dogs.
1 long narrow brook (with pebble shore if possible).


1. Mix children and dogs together and turn into a field, stirring constantly.
2. Sprinkle with field flowers.
3. Pour brook over pebbles.
4. Cover all with deep blue sky.
5. Bake in hot sun.

When well browned, they may be removed to a bathtub and given a good scrubbing, good wholesome food, a prayer, a kiss and a clean bed.

(Anon. From an old collection of early American recipes.)

I have been thinking a lot about how differently from each other we all parent our children. And how we do what we believe is right. And we judge people who we think do it wrong. And envy/admire the ones who do it better, forgetting that we only see part of it. We make choices. And sometimes those choices are so right they fill our hearts with joyous pride and excitement and enthusiasm. And other choices leave us distracted and grumpy and lying awake in the dark. Wondering. And we will never really get it really really right. It's just not possible.

And so we just muddle through and hope for the best. Hope they are happy at the end of it all. Because that's all we want for them, right? And the driving, and the gaming, and the tv ad's, and the not so wholesome foods, and the peer pressure, and the late night's, and the million other little things I try, and often fail, to keep at arm's length for them, to keep to a minimum, will continue to be just part of our story. Or will they? Do they have to be?

I realised in the last day or two that I have some serious 'Sloth and Torpor' issues. I find myself swimming up and down the house meeting needs here, there, clearing, sorting, ordering, but only just. The barest scraping of the surface. And that's not good enough.

No. I owe it to them to get it as right as I can.

So. The photo's are some little reminders of the times we have got it pretty much right. And I invite those of you who had a wee cord struck in the last few minutes to do the same. Find those little reminders. And you know what? More than anything, looking through these photo's from the last couple of summers has made me realise that if given the chance, they always get it right. Pretty much.


Emma said...

Lovely photos, Ciara. Is that last one taken in France? I still have the post card you sent us from there. Ah, the simple joys of childhood!

Lisa Conmara said...

ciara thats beautiful. you have a lovely way of writing.

i loved that piece there...


Andrew Judge said...

They are lovely pictures. I love the associated thoughts.

GourmetGirlfriend said...

YES YES YES!!!!!!!!
mwah to you!