[Shared by Mummy Central]
Once again, like last year, I’m running around buying lots of stuff.
Stuff to make Christmas special.
When you’re a kid, stuff matters.
Dinosaurs matter to Brodie. Knights matter to Blake.
I remember when I was a kid and a treehouse playset made my Christmas.
But the older you get, stuff just doesn’t seem to matter any more.
(Although if Mr G is reading this, I certainly won’t turn away any lavish gift you’d care to give me!)
The things my heart truly desires just can’t be bought.
If Santa really could wave a magic wand and make them possible, I’d want these things:
More of the Olympic spirit
Wasn’t it nice when all the cynicism and negativity melted away over the Summer?
When everyone was on the same page, and supporting each other? Proud to feel part of the same team?
I’m not suggesting we’re always going to be like that. God how exhausting would that be, acting like cheerleaders all of the time?
But I’d love it if we could approach things with more of a “can do” attitude, rather than sneering and waiting for things to fail.
Sometimes life disappoints. Things aren’t as great as you think they’ll be.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my kids, it’s that life is a lot more fun if you at least try to see the best in everything.
Chanel has just staged a major fashion event in the town where I live – in the grounds of the ruined palace where Mary Queen of Scots was born (more on this coming soon).
But instead of saying what a great opportunity this is for tourism, how it has put our tiny location on the map, maybe inspired our young people who want to go into the fashion industry….
A local moaning minnie (and she’ll be one of many) has spouted how upset she was by the disruption to the town, and the “flaunting” of personal wealth.
I prefer to remember that the catwalk show was featuring local suppliers who Chanel has rescued from closure – including a Scottish knitwear company where almost 200 jobs were saved.
I think of the thousands of pounds paid to Historic Scotland to use one of its sites – money which will be spent preserving Scotland’s historical places of interest.
And I wonder if Mrs Moaner is spending her personal wealth on Christmas presents at this time of year – and if she finds that vulgar when there are people suffering in developing countries across the world.
A visitor’s pass to heaven
In a little over 2 years, I’ve lost 3 people I love.
Since then, I’ve had vivid dreams when I talk to them. Dreams so real I wake up crying.
If only we could claim back a bit of time, just to see our loved ones again.
I like to picture them celebrating Christmas with the birthday boy himself. And what I wouldn’t give for an hour at that dinner party.
My friend and bridesmaid Trina lost her battle with breast cancer in November 2010, aged 36.
And I’ve blogged about my lovely father-in-law Keith, a caring man, full of fun and energy, who left a huge void in the family when asbestosis took him in August 2011.
But I also lost my cousin Paula, who had a rare form of cancer in her glands when she left this world in April 2011, aged 45.
She lived in New Zealand for a number of years, but we kept in touch via email, sharing stories as we each had two sons.
When she and her family returned to the UK, we visited them for a weekend. We took a lovely walk along the beach with our boys.
A year later, I got the news she’d died at home, with her husband and their boys by her side.
She was a woman of incredible grace and wisdom, who had Buddhist beliefs and didn’t allow negativity to pollute her life.
There was so much more I could have learned from her.
For the 3 lovely people mentioned above, I’d also like cancer to feck off and die. Forever.
To earn a living again
It’s been 7 years.
The hardest work of my life. Unpaid, unappreciated (or at least it feels like it most of the time), with people treating me like I’ve had a frontal lobotomy.
The kids have made it worthwhile. Of course they have.
But I’m fed up with people treating me like I’ll give my time and effort for free – cos I haven’t got anything better to do!
I’m still seeking the Holy Grail of paid work from home – though I’ve accepted this may not work out.
I’m a freelance writer and an Avon lady. But the cashflow has been more of a drip than a steady stream.
I’d love to make a decent income again – if not from home then from a fulfilling job which I can start when Blake goes to school next August.
My boys to be good readers
I’m not a competitive parent (or at least I try hard not to be).
I love that Brodie enjoys school and tries his best. That makes me proud.
He’s in his second year at primary school, and it remains to be seen where his strengths and weaknesses lie.
When it comes to reading, he’s at the stage where he can read most simple words, and “sound out” the others.
But he gets frustrated and doesn’t like to practice when things get tough.
I sooooo want him to be a strong reader, and get the joy I got from books when I was a child.
He loves sitting with his dinosaur books, looking at the pictures. But he refuses to read the words – he’s so afraid of failure (I suppose saying “pteradactyl” is a lot easier than reading it).
I know it’s going to take more encouragement and practice.
But that’s what I want for both my boys.
To be strong readers, and be able to enjoy books even when I’m not around to read to them.