Looking somewhat ashen, as well as guilty. The 'o so talkative' one was now 'o so quiet' as she presented me with a thin silver object with a sharp end that resembled a micro screw driver which, in fact, it was. 'Its a screw driver' I said, assuming that was what she wanted to know as she handed it over. It was obvious by her reaction that she knew that it was a screw driver but equally obvious was the look that said 'but I've not been using it to screw drive screws!' A little voice inside me said 'you dont want to know!' I ignored the little voice! Invariably number two child will start a sentance with 'Can I tell you something?' (if she cut that out those 5 words then her verbal output would probably reduce by 50,000 words - a day!) On this occasion however, I was willing her to tell me something........ but that something was not forthcoming. After a few seconds Mrs F appeared at the top of the stairs and put me out of my misery. It transpired that the titian one had decided that this confession was best made to her mother. 'Your daughter' began the beloved (I was now worried because surely she was 'our' daughter) decided that it would be a good idea to try and pierce her ear last night and took it on herself.....' by this point I'd got the picture and didnt need the finer detail. My first thought was 'when did she have her tetanus injection?' quickly followed by 'what damage has she done to her ear?' and last but not least 'how could she be so silly?' The just turned 7 year old was obviously using the powers of ESP, for before I had a chance to verbalise these thoughts she said..... 'Mummy's chatted to me and I'm very sorry.' My instinct at this point was to reinforce what Mummy had said with another 'chat' but a look from Mrs F told me that OUR daughter had indeed understood the message loud and clear!
Over the course of the last year or so, my family (and other animals) have given me thoughts and ideas when it comes to the ramblings you read now. Often it has been something said that has caused amusement or a reaction to a certain situation or an expression used out of context. Some reading previous blogs will have said 'been there and got the t-shirt' others will think 'lets note that for future reference' and still others will remark 'how interesting, the Friends near our prayers as well as our sympathy!'
My children are growing up. As they do, they may find and push boundaries; they will discover success as well as failure and they will begin to see where their strengths lie as well as their weaknesses. Hopefully they will learn through all of life's experiences and grow to be independant grounded young adults. They are also loved unconditionally by both Caroline and myself.
Our daughter, may well take matters into her own hands at times AND she may well talk the hind legs off a donkey AND she may well position herself at the table to eat dinner like she's reclining in a chaise lange BUT..........to hear her laugh playing 'big bear little bear' is a joy; to see the smile on her face as she walks the beam at 'nymnastics' warms the heart; to see her zest for life coupled with a heart of compassion is an encouragement and, in her Daddy's eyes, she will always be the most beautiful girl in the world.
Our firstborn is no diplomat, over analyses to the enth degree, counts the money in his money box with alarming regularity and will walk into a white walled room and convince you that it is black BUT........he is not easily swayed by others and knows his own mind which is reassuring, he has a sense of justice (most of the time) that will stand him in good stead going forward and the now 'not so little bear' loves to rough and tumble with his Daddy which brings his Daddy lots of happiness - and a few bruised ribs! They are our children and we, love them both so very very much much.
I wonder, what do others say of you and me now or what will they say at some point in the future? Maybe its just my age, but I find myself reflecting on the person I was, what I've become and what I may be. All very subjective I know but I look back on a pretty chequered past and my character tends to zero in on the failures and disappointments rather than the successes. I hope I've learnt from those tough times but I acknowledge that I still have much to learn. For example, I had great ideals as to how I would parent my children even to the extent that Super Nanny would be asking for my advice! Then I had children! And the reality is that its not so easy. I so much want to be a good parent but my patience is not as it should be and I wish I didnt raise my voice to them - someone please tell me I'm not the only one! .......... I now know a great deal less at 43 than I did at 21 !
The reality is that I'm a mixed bag just like the rest of us. Some good fruit, some fruit that has gone bad and should be got rid of and some fruit that isnt ripe yet but nevertheless has potential. I am and always will be a work in progress for my wife, my children, my friends, my community and my God. Does God cope with that? Well, think on this true story. There was once this guy who was arrogant, big headed, impatient, impetuous, and a coward who talked the talk but couldnt walk the walk. In short, his CV seemed to be a bit sparse on characteristic qualities. After 3 years, his employer called him into his office for a breakfast meeting. The employee was somewhat fretting as the last time he'd met with the Boss it had ended in tears - literally. You would imagine therefore, that the meeting's agenda would include the words 'sacked, pension or voluntary redundancy' ......Not so........this employer saw the journey this raw employee had been on and knew that this rough diamond through all the ups and downs, and seemingly catastrophic failures had leadership skills and a heart of gold; and far from demoting or even side lining him, He gave him the greatest job and with it enormous responsibility........
....The employee's name was Peter and his boss was Jesus......I thank God that He thrives on 'works in progress', dont you?...........just as well really!