Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Real World

Last week while we were visiting my parent's place, I came across my uncle who is well-known for being a tease with the kids.  He will growl at them while creating horrid faces and then giggle as he walks away - all for the entertainment it creates for him to see the absolute terror on the kids faces.  In the 30 years that he has been an Uncle - he has not changed - always known as the "scary" one....and I have vivid memories as a child of being absolute terrified of him. 

It created an intense conversation with my parents as to whether or not he should quit with the act and stop scaring the kids - and it was the response from my mum - that created a lightbulb moment for me as a parent.

She said "Not everyone in the world is nice Han - so really it's a perfect lesson for the kids to learn.  Unfortunately it's a big bad world out there."

Could she be any more right?

We work tirelessly to create these perfect worlds for our children - filled with happy memories, endless toys, healthy food and loving family....but unfortunately, no matter how tightly we wrap our kids up - we must prepare them for the big wide world. 

As sad as it is, our children are going to come across rude, cruel and mean people in their many walks of life.  It is our responsibility to give them the tools to cope with all the nasty things and to appreciate the beauty of life itself.

It's our responsiblity to raise the kind of person who chooses to take the higher ground in a conflicting situation - to see the empathy and sympathise. 

To raise them to be the person who greets everyone with a smile of love and friendship - no matter how rude that other person is - or what personal hardships they may be going through themselves.

To teach them to know that a simple smile to a stranger can create so much love and happiness.  That it is so much easier being kind to everyone - and not to be tied down by others negativity. 

To simply be the person who will know the importance of kindness and love - and with these qualities - they will reach their goals and succeed in life. 

Memories create all these magnificent qualities.  Simple memories like sitting on the kitchen bench licking cake batter off the beaters....or jumping in puddles after days of rain.....or hiding under the covers with Daddy waiting to scare Mummy as she walks by. 

Memories of playing with friends, sharing special days with family or loosing someone close.  The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.  All these memories create lessons. 

One of the most profound memories I have of my childhood is simply......when you get knocked down - get back up, dust yourself off and put your face to the sunshine.  For this lesson will guide you throughout so many walks of life.

For it is today, that we taught Macie this very lesson after she fell off a chair while visiting her Ma & Pa.  She is now sporting a very vibrant blue and purple bruise on her cheek but she is ok.  After many tears from Macie, a minor freak-out from Heath and a lot of reassurance from me and Heath's parents - we all live to tell the tale.

And tonight, as we tuck Macie into bed - all clean, fed and happy - we will read to her Dr Seuss "The Places You Will Go"....for it is in this story that dreams begin and the wise words belong....

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
Dr. Seuss

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