Last year was one of those years – I couldn’t go to Coles without catching pneumonia. At one point I just took my sick-after-sick-after-sick kids out of school and we ran away up the coast to a big wide open space with no snot in it. Add to this a brain scan for me, two family funerals and an evil piece of a skin cancer chopped out of me, and I was about to give up and go and live with the hippies. Then I remembered those filthy dreadlocks….
Before you feel as sorry for me as I was, all remains well. The funerals were the finale to two well-lived lives, they found a brain in my noggin, the kids got their Gloria Gaynor on and “I will survived” and 2016 is a brand spanker of a new year.
However, in the thick of it all, one asks oneself: What is the dent I want to leave in this life?
What was very clear to me at the time was that my greatest work will be – sorry Book World – my kids.
Part of this, of course, is Book World, or becoming la Fabulous Authoress. It’s leading by that good brave, ‘go-get-‘em’ example, showing them that they too can do absolutely anything they want. Getting up when you face plant in the publisher’s office, showing them what having a passion means and that hard work pays dividends. I hope and try my hardest to show them a balance – to do both mum and work in the proportions that matter to our family, and hopefully not too frenetically (although I know this last part is my biggest failing).
A funeral brings up how you might be remembered. You think of the person you’re saying goodbye to in the best and fondest of terms – will people think such things about you? At my 99 and a half year-old Nan’s funeral, these words were in my head: She was consistently kind and strong.
This was the answer to my question.
When it comes down to it, when my children have to stand on their own two feet, which thankfully God-willing is not right now, what I want them to be is kind and strong.
Rather shockingly, a Harvard study a couple of years ago gained a lot of attention when it found 80 per cent of teenage participants chose success as their top priority, over caring for others, which was chosen by a measly 20 per cent. Apparently the kids said that these priorities mirrored their parent’s priorities. Parents – what would you think of this if your child was the one who needed the care shown to them? I want my kids to be kind.
And strong – to know right from wrong, to be able to stand up for themselves – to everyone, not just to the usual issues parents nag about like drugs and bad behaviour. I want my fairly timid kids to be certain about their beliefs and what feels right or wrong. I want them to have strong instincts. And good perspective and balance in life. But not a bland life – no way! Find your passion, my darlings.
Feels like a huge job when you write it all down. Best I get to it.