Skip to main content

There's Still Wonder in Mankind

I began this blog a year ago today, with the smoke of bonfire night still clinging to my hair.  Since then, our eldest has learnt thousands of new words (maybe more), started nursery and now rides his balance bike everywhere. Our youngest (who slept on my chest throughout the firework display) is now fully mobile, brings me books to read, has grown fourteen (soon to be sixteen) teeth and says "papa", "mamma", "turtle", "tractor" and "bat".  He's asleep on me now, his little mouth recently unclamped from me as the fireworks explode outside the bedroom window.
Rereading this post confirms how much I'm enjoying our new town a year on: the most welcoming place I've ever lived; the amazing friends I've made and all the incredible growth and development that our little ones have been getting on with as the world does its thing, both organically and politically.
A year ago today, America was voting for its new president and I, and many many others, were terrified of the outcome.  A year on and it's still terrifying but the global resistance of love, kindness and respect is gradually growing in strength and power. I'm more optimistic than ever.
The firework finale of thunder claps can be heard over head and then the full moon will resume its iridescent domination of the night sky. Sleep on, little ones. You'll need all your strength for tomorrow.
Xx

"Today was one of those perfect Autumn days.  Big cosy coats and woolly hats cocooned the little ones as the cold air rouged our cheeks.  The sun shone low through the trees; the crisp orange, yellow and red leaves crunched underfoot. The earthy smell of decaying leaves reminding us that winter is around the corner.

One of the many great things about becoming a mum is that you experience the world anew. Mundane objects become intricate gizmos as you try and answer the repeated "what's dat?" (potato peeler, measuring scales, dental floss). You can be moved to tears by the wonder of mankind's achievements as your child points out every aeroplane, waves at helicopters and cheers on every train. Basic science suddenly fascinates you again: magnets, fireworks, the sun going down and the shape-shifting moon coming up. The hope of a new generation getting to grips with the big wide world.

As well as such rediscovery, mankind seems more wonderful too. When you're flying solo, life's too busy to notice other people and you can manage by yourself perfectly well, thank you very much. However, there's something about having a little baby snug against your chest that makes total strangers smile at you.  For a fleeting moment, their kindly face connects with your contentment and there's a shared silent moment of simple joy in the world.  And you need those strangers, too.  While doing the shopping or posting a parcel, I'll also be pushing our snoozey toddler in the buggy while jiggling our baby to sleep in the sling. I am usually in need of an extra pair of hands and I am delighted to report that even without asking, shop doors are opened for us, hard to reach items are passed to me and particularly thoughtful humans have even offered to carry my heavily laden basket. When merely leaving the house can be such a major challenge, it's a relief to know that the world isn't such a bad place after all.

As Americans go out to vote today, whatever the potential outcome may be, I want to register my good fortune to live in a place that shows everyday respect, kindness and care.  Autumn always brings change, but after the rotting of beautiful leaves and the dark cold of winter, spring will soon be here again. Whatever the outcome, the world will still be full of love, peace and wonder."


Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Early Motherhood Clouded by Thick Fog, Just Like This Year's Supermoon.

Our youngest has the box room at the back corner of the house, its window to the side.  Looking out, there's a disappointing view: a thousand bricks, rising high into the blue.  Yet, there is one slither of visible sky.  Every evening, after bath time, we snuggle on his low bed, reading stories and settling for a milk feed.  The curtains are closed and the lights are dimmed to a low warm light.

We must have been a bit rushed one evening, a later bedtime with an overtired baby.  We collapsed onto the mattress, comfortable and settled at last.  It was only then that I looked up and realised that the blinds were up and I'd forgotten to turn the night light on.  But the room had a glow more lovely and soft than usual; the moon was steadily rising up through the narrow visible triangle of sky.  We both stared up in awe at the bright crescent moon and our little 17month old pointed and muttered "moo".

We've now spent a few evenings pointing at the moon and have observe…

The young, the old and the lonely, part 2: 'Babble and Bubbles' at St. Joe's.

After two years of trying and failing to set up a regular intergenerational social, I was delighted when Charley Allen, Activities Coordinator of St. Joseph's Care Home, Tring, commented on my post in the local Facebook group: a desperate last chance to team up stay at home parents, their little ones and isolated older adults.  The idea came from my often lonely and anxious experience of early motherhood. The major trial of leaving the house with a tiny baby was always rewarded by a natter in the shops or on a park bench, cooing into the pram, telling me "he's gorgeous".  His lovely little face brought so much joy.  Surely we could make this a regular thing?
Charley works with older adults in a local care home, specialising in dementia care.  She was excited by the possibility of opening the care home doors to babies, toddlers and their parents.  We chatted about what might appeal to both under 5s and over 75s, deciding on traditional nursery rhymes, a story, bubble…

The Young, The Old and The Lonely: Setting up a Playgroup in a Care Home, Part 1

When I first became a mum, the biggest surprise was how lonely the day-to-day could be. Sanity was usually saved by elderly folk, who were also out getting fresh air in the middle of the day. They had time to chat and stories to share. The baby in my arms was proof enough that I was harmless.  His tiny presence made opening lines easy enough; conversation flowed freely between strangers, bridging generations, differences and histories. A park bench or check out queue became therapeutic moments in the day, cooing over little one's eyelashes, or sharing ad hoc games of peekaboo. They were brief chance encounters but spread so much joy.

It seemed obvious that these meetings need not be left to chance. For all the new lonely mums out there, there's double the number of lonely older adults.  If only I could adopt a granny, or visit someone housebound, or volunteer for a befriend the elderly coffee morning.  A hot cuppa: that'd be a dream. Adult conversation? Yes please.  Bringi…