I cut myself all the slack in the world over not writing and not art-ing over the weekend. And I extend that slack further through this morning when I didn’t rise extra early to write and instead it’s quarter to ten and I’m only just sitting down to it now. 

My strong and just excuse is this, and no more: Husfriend is away since early Thursday morning and I’m absolutely shattered from the standard run of daily life tasks. It’s just about the extent of my abilities to feed and clothe the children to the lowest of standards so that social services or the like don’t come and claim them from me. 

As I type, I’m sipping on actual black tea (weak for sure, but still infused with a modicum of caffeine) whilst battling against my eyelids and their quest for closure. 

I could so so easy drift back off to sleep this morning, and it mightn’t be the worst possible use of these few brief hours before my children finish school, but I’m fairly sure I’ll regret it all the same, so I’ll fight the fight against sleep (shan’t call it “The Good Fight” as sleep is the goodie in all battles, really), and persevere with a to-do list and a headache. 

All in all – and despite the exhaustion – it’s been a fairly pleasant weekend. I’ve discovered that I actually like my children as people for the most part. Now that they’re becoming actual people. This hasn’t been my first discovery of this fact, but it gets increasingly reinforced. 

Sure they’re frustrating little creatures who seem oblivious to the most obvious of safety precautions for the most part, but they both seem to have an ingrained sense of kindness and honour and it’s actually thrilling and heart-warming to observe it. 

They’re not greedy. They’re not out for “everything for myself” – even though, of course, they want and ask for things, they’re usually pretty okay with a “no”, but that’s not the thing. It’s more that if there are a number of people around and they have something, their first instinct is to share. And if someone is hurt or struggling, their first instinct is to help. Granted, they’ll have to actually notice someone is struggling, but I think we could all do with lessons about that. 

Tiny example of the kinds of things they do: We have a giant jar of jellies in cupboard. The other day I said once they were dressed and before we headed out to town that they’d be allowed three candies each. Twin 1 duly took his three and Twin 2 when choosing his three needed to dig down to get a particular one that had caught his fancy. In doing so, he accidentally hooked a fourth jelly and didn’t notice until the jar was put away. I’d noticed but didn’t really think it was a big deal. Once he noticed the fourth candy, he immediately told me and wanted to put it back. I suggested he keep it, but then he broke it in two to share with his brother who’d only taken three. 

It’s a silly little example and maybe almost every kid out there would act the same way about the same sort of thing. But I know I wouldn’t have. Or at least, I wouldn’t have wanted to. My first instinct would have been to “get away” with having the extra jelly. And I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to share it with a sibling unless it was noticed. 

I would have wanted to win. 

And I would have seen getting the extra jelly as winning in a way. In fact I remember eating my treats as slowly as possible so that I’d finish after my siblings and then that would feel like winning too. My kids – one of them naturally eats up treats really fast, and then his brother shares what he has still left with nary a quibble! Even though they both got the same amount initially! It doesn’t make sense to me!

I’ve noticed it in other areas too – they just don’t view the world as a zero-sum game. They don’t see other people’s gain as in any way detracting from theirs. 

I mean, this is brilliant and I applaud it. It’s what we want in the next generation isn’t it? I just have absolutely no idea how it came about since it flies counter to every instinct I can recall having had even since being a very young child. 

I’ve always wanted to be the girl with the most cake.

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