|Emmy crocheted this flower brooch for Granny|
|Fifi tells granny all about her beloved doll Daisy's latest adventures|
Fina came with me on a shopping expedition this morning to find some special presents for Granny. She chose a pretty butterfly card, a pot of homemade Scottish blackcurrant preserve and kept asking when it would be her birthday at the sweet counter.
I wondered if we might do even better than a pot of jam (lovely though it was) so she gleefully took me on a tour of some very precariously balanced and astonishingly pricey china mugs, pointing with very pointy fingers at the ones right at the tippedy top of the display. We finally settled on some gourmet fudge, a box of biscuits, and a lovely flowering pot plant which I have forgotten the name of.
I got a bit carried away looking at roses and almost lugged a 5 foot tall heirloom variety rose named "Alexandra" all the way home without much consideration of how that might work in real terms. It was heirloom, is was rambling, it was sunsets and romance! I couldn't help myself.
Fina (who is quite a reliable reality checker :) realised where this was all going and stamped her foot in exclamation, asking "but when are we going to get out of here?"
The quiet, elderly couples perusing the lavender beds nodded politely, a couple smiled. It always seems so extra quiet during term times for families with 5 chattering girls (1 Fina can equal 5 :) Especially 5 girls who don't always follow conventional etiquette on volume control. These moments are often followed by a well meaning "have they got a day off school today?"
I sometimes just say yes :)
Our girls can be endlessly chattery and expressive in all emotional directions but they are also a very friendly bunch so most people they come across tend to end up somewhat enamoured with them. :) They are also happy to talk to almost anyone at the drop of a hat about almost any subject and they absolutely love to play with younger children and give cuddles to the ladies at church.
I sometimes imagine the crazy that comes along with us puts other parents at ease. There is no time for being concerned with appearances with a gaggle about you. Which, I suppose, is a perk of being too worn out to worry what others might be thinking :)
I really want to spend more one on one trips out with Fina. Being the "piggly in the miggly" and incredible independent I often find I leave her to her own pursuits a little more than I do the others. Also there is the efficiency of doing things as a group rather than one by one. However, I think this approach works better when they're little. Now they are blossoming into unique characters with unique desires and interests it is often better for me to divide myself between them rather than present a project en masse.
I am so happy when their Granny is well enough to visit. As with many young families, we don't have a support system of family, community and elders around us so together we try to take these roles on for our children. Granny is a beautiful link with an older generation but sadly, as her health wanes she often has little strength for visits. Elders are such a jewel in the lives of children and families. I see the way the children light up around her, trying to make her comfortable, entertain her with stories and jokes and cuddle up to her.
We need kind, wise older people to be there in supporting and loving roles for our children and families. Children instinctively love old people because their worldly masks, which they have know use for anymore, have been discarded and if they've done their soul work, in their place, shines a warm humble honesty and a sure smile. I've recently been reading "Sibling Society" by Robert Bly which keenly narrates the decline of wise elders and initiates in Western society. I look forward to the day when I am able to offer support and love to a young mother or a young family who is in need of it. I hope I'll grow to have the wisdom for such a role. Maybe all the mistakes, revisions and resolutions I make along the way are good training ground for that :)
Fina is an old soul. I have learnt more about myself parenting her than I have any other child. We had much fun together yesterday.
She relished playing crocodile catch down the slide today and showing me her circus tricks on the small wooden playground at the fruit farm where we stopped for a quick bite to eat.
Although she puts on a brave front, she can get easily frightened and is very sensitive.
She got upset with me when I pretended to catch her doll playing crocodiles. I realised my mistake right away (her doll is so close to her own feelings). I promised I wouldn't so it again and when I proved my word true she nearly knocked me over with her hug. This is Fina, a force, an energy field. She sparkles.
When we got home she was excited to help get everything ready for Granny's tea and drew about ten pictures for her.
They all love chattering away to Granny, telling her stories and asking her questions.
Nola enjoyed having a legitimate reason for picking off a bunch of borage flower heads to decorate her cake with. She meandered about, as she pleased, running in and out of the garden and all about the house with muddy feet as she seems to be allergic to shoes at the moment. With so many eyes and arms to shelter her she has the freest rein of any child thus far.
Granny hardly got a word in edgewise this afternoon, but I wonder that her enjoyment was none the worse for that.