The above is from a tweet which went viral this week and which I have thought about a lot. I think its simplicity in a digital world is a poignant reminder of what is important to our children. It also reminded me that it is not material possessions which are remembered but a feeling of being loved, involved and belonging.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what makes my children happy, its always the simple things, playing at the skate park or on the beach, baking cakes and licking the bowl, having a movie afternoon cuddled up on the sofa, a kick around in the garden. It is often about just being in the moment and doing something as a family or with friends.
Before I became a mum, I knew the type of mum I wanted to be, most of it based on the opposite to my own childhood, which whilst not unhappy was quite chaotic. I wanted to be a present mum, happy in myself and happy being mum.
When we realised that we would become parents through adoption, I understood through my professional background the importance of secure attachment. We have worked hard to create a secure feeling for our children. Whilst I recognise how lucky we are to be able to do what we have done, thanks to understanding bosses, reassessing our priorities etc.. our family has always been at the heart of all our decisions. Its been a journey of trial and error but we now both work part time to ensure that one of us is always there for the school runs, we’re always early so the children never have to fear being left behind and at least one of us is always there for every concert, assembly, sports day, nativity etc.. to wave and encourage. At home, we always sit down to meals together where we talk, we make plans as a family and plot it on our calendar, we constantly reassure the children that we are their forever family and that they will always have a home with us even when we’re doddery, old pensioners. There are so many other little things we do too, all we want is for our children to have that indescribable feeling of being, loved, wanted and belonging.
When I look at the second tweet, I’m quite proud that actually the children do a lot of what’s on the list. I hope we set an example of being kind to not just friends and family but to all. We read books; even at nearly 9 and 10 years old, we always read a story to the children every night and I really don’t ever want to stop this. We spend a lot of time together as a family, but also have started to allow the children more independence (scary but essential) Fortunately living at the seaside we’re at the beach a lot, there is nothing quite like collecting the children from school and walking to the beach until early evening, its like a mini holiday on a school day! There’s also a lot of ice cream shops at the seaside so I think we can confidently tick that one off too.
I hope my children will look back to their childhood with happy memories of sunny days on the beach, ice creams, dancing with mummy in the kitchen, helping daddy in the garden and many family adventures.