Sunday, 24 February 2013

Well done Helene!

Well done Helene!
24 February 2013

Every so often, I have a rare moment.  A moment where I sort of step back.  A moment where I am able to look at my kids objectively.  A moment where I don't look at them as their mother.  A moment where I look at them as just kids.

These moments usually occur when they do something so perfectly and utterly marvellous, that I am filled with wonder and awe.  Coupled with pure motherly parental pride.  As well as a big dollop and dosage of pleasant surprise too.

I so often make the classic mistake of correcting them all the time.  Particularly when they are in public.  Oh, I don't do it in an embarrassing way.  But I look at how they interact and react in certain situations.  And then I take that knowledge and work with it to try and mould them.  To show them what is right.  I might whisper something quietly in their ear or talk to them about it afterwards. 

It sounds terrible when I put it like this.  As if I'm on a permanent fault finding mission.  But I can promise you this is not so.  In fact, I think most parents do this.  It is how we teach our kids.

The magic though lies in those moments of utter perfection.  When they just make you so damn proud.

And for me these moments are found in the everyday and in the seeming mundane.  It is not the academic, cultural or sporting achievements that bring forth this wonder.  It is not the A-team for this, Eisteddfod for that, or 90% for something else.  These don't happen so often after all.

And though these certainly make me feel proud, they are not my children's greatest achievements by far.  These achievements are all reached within an artificial atmosphere - the schooling one.  An atmosphere where they compete against their peers for academic brilliance, sporting prowess and cultural excellence.  In a sort of level playground.

But give them their due, these sort of accomplishments are remarkable indeed.  And they make me feel very proud.  I just find it slightly artificial.  Not very much like real life.  Real life is not as neat, fair and equal like school life is.  Real life is far more harsh.

In real life, where you compete against the world, no one says to you "well done - you are the first in this, or the best at that".  Real life is not quantifiable like that.  It is far too abstract.  You don’t get certificates for attendance or being top of the class.  No medals are awarded at the drop of a hat.

My moments of immense motherly pride come to the fore in the far more every day.  In Luke's insistence on always carrying the groceries for me.  Without me ever having to ask.  Not even once.  No matter how long our walk is or how heavy the bags are.  In his helping to unload the car when we've been out and about.  In his friendly manner in greeting adults and shaking men’s hands.  In ensuring he says goodbye when we leave somewhere.  In his willingness to help other adults when help is required.  Never mumbling or grumbling, simply getting on with it and getting the job done.

In Amber's extreme generosity with all that she has.  She will share of her best with anyone out there.  She is capable of great empathy.  And this is a sterling quality too.  Though extremely witty and sharp with her tongue, she is also able to show great sensitivity at times.  She is kind to the elderly and little babies too.  She is friendly and helpful.  She is extremely thoughtful in so many ways and delights in easing other’s lives and making things from them that she knows will bring joy.

And as for my darling little Cole.  He has the smallest and softest little heart.  He is tough as old takkies on one level for sure, but deep at his very core, he is mushy and squishy.  There is no more gentle soul when it comes to small children and he's batty about animals.  He is careful and considerate of other's feelings and is willing to be the least, so that others can feel good.  He is caring and his nurturing nature makes me glow on the inside.

Parenting is a hard and sometimes thankless task at times.  Often loggerheads ensue.  There are rules to make.  Examples to be set.  Points to prove.  Guidance to be done.

And then every so often, you glimpse something that just fills your heart with love.  Something so pure and good it makes it all worthwhile.

Something that makes you think “It’s working!  This parenting thing is a breeze and a charm!  Just look at how incredibly magnificent they are!  I’ve done good!”.

And though my kids are a wonderful result of team-parenting and Grant deserves equal credit, for just a moment, it is good to bask in the glow.

It energises one to keep on going.  To slog on.  Ever hopeful that yet another pocket of magic is awaiting soon.

And with a bit of luck, it is.





  1. Thanks again Helene - precious and inspiring for us all in trying to let them be themselves while praying they will choose the best way in life.

  2. Wonderful Helene - much the same in teaching. The little things that make one know that one is actually succeeding, and one has to grab those moments!
    Your kids are awesome - Jan van Dan was saying so only yesterday at Backsberg.

    What you don't always see:
    Luke cares and 'parents' to a fault when your children are here - an astounding example of responsibility, completely unsolicited.
    Amber is helpful in every way, offering and taking the lead. Always sweet and well mannered.
    Cole is loving and caring to a fault - never seen such sweetness as he shows to his little cousins. A total pleasure to see him on his own mission in the garden - a thing few kids can do.

    Love all of them, and you can be exceptionally proud! You did good!