Last weekend, I was wracking my brain to think of something interesting for my Offspring to have for tea, which didn’t require a lot of work on my part and which used only the ingredients I had in the house. Aha, I thought after a while, I will make mini quiches!
But I didn’t want to use puff pastry, and I didn’t have any shortcrust in the freezer, so I needed to make the pastry myself. And although I have several (hundred?!) recipe books, I couldn’t decide which would be the best to use. So I rang my mum to ask which she used.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, But Rebecca, we thought you’d given up on guest posts? And to that I would say, ‘Not at all!’ In fact, if you are a regular reader and would like to write on path: ethic as a guest blogger, please let me know!
This week’s post is by Sophie Childs. Sophie is a home educating mother of five who lives in the Welsh Valleys and loves being able to spend so much time with her children. She is an author and freelance writer, and you can find out more about her work at her website www.sophiechilds.com. Her latest book, We Just Clicked, is available now on Amazon.
It’s Boxing Day evening here, and I’m tired. This is obviously due in great part to the fact that it was Christmas Day yesterday, and Christmas Eve the day before that. Our Offspring have been so excited about The Big Day, counting down the days, with Fourth Offspring asking everyday, if we could go to Christmas.
This has been the first Christmas where they all ‘get’ it. Last year, Fourth Offspring was only two years old, but this year, having turned three a few months ago, he was very much aware of what was going to happen: Santa comes in the night, and leaves presents under the tree. First Offspring, aged eight, is still convinced of this, and so for the first and almost certainly the last time, all children were enthralled with the magic of Santa, and I’ll admit, that was a lovely thing to be a part of.
I hadn’t heard about ‘FOMO’ until I read about it in an article. Apparently, it’s really a thing! Through social media, people can tailor their online presence to appear to have a certain kind of life, and others who view this presentation then fret about why they don’t have that, too (Fear Of Missing Out).
That’s not news. That’s always happened. It’s always been the case that it’s easy to look at someone else’s life and believe that they have it better. We’ve always imagined that movie stars are all tremendously rich and confident and popular, when the reality is that they’re just people, and while they might have more money at their disposal which means they can afford more ‘stuff’, it doesn’t follow that they’re any more content than your average person.
Their internet persona just makes it seem as if they do.
A couple of weeks ago, the Handsome Sidekick put on a movie for our Offspring to watch. It was Paper Planes, an Australian film about a boy trying to make it to the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan. It’s a sweet story, if a little cheesy at times, and there were some elements with which I could really identify, having grown up in country Australia. We thought our Offspring might also enjoy it. As it began, though, Second Offspring noted that the main character was a boy, and said, ‘Why do these movies always have boys in them? Why not girls?’ and I replied, ‘I KNOW, Second Offspring! I have asked myself the same question, when it comes to stories.’
I’m sorry about that. Somehow I got insanely busy with children, work, cats, and winter colds. Oh, and lighting fires (in the fireplace, in case you’re wondering), and trying to get the washing dry. But here I am, back again, with your regular Sunday links, so now you can relax! I’ve relaxed for long enough this morning; I’m about to wash the sheets and bake some chocolate chip biscuits.
School started again this week – not that you would have known that because I’ve not mentioned AT ALL over the past month or so – and First and Second Offspring went back to school, while Third Offspring is easing into her first weeks at kindergarten. She seems to have taken it all in her stride, while First and Second Offspring are happy to be back with their friends and rediscovering their routine.
And I’m enjoying that too, because the walk to school and back with them everyday is a great time to talk and listen to their stories, and find out about how they’re going. On our second day, I asked First Offspring whether he was concentrating in class so far. “Sometimes,” was the rather non-committal answer. I asked this because last year’s report indicated that while he appears capable of understanding the work, he is not so interested about putting the effort in to do it. This was absolutely no surprise to the Handsome Sidekick and me. We think First Offspring is smart enough. He just likes to chat to his friends. A lot.
I read in the news this week that Dominic Ongwen, a commander in the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, was at a pre-trial court appearance in the Hague. He faces crimes against humanity, including murder and enslavement. That he is there at all is significant, since he is the first member of the LRA to face trial. However, his presence in a courtroom also raises some questions about how such a trial might go ahead.
Ongwen was abducted in the 1980s by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and became one of Africa’s many child-soldiers. These children are taken from villages from a young age, brainwashed and often introduced to drugs and violence. By the time they are adults, they have already spent many years witnessing and often perpetrating violent crime. So, at what point can they be held responsible for the kinds of acts they commit, when so many of them have also experienced the same abuse?
Some months ago, I went to a Mother’s Day morning tea at Second Offspring’s school. When we arrived, we were ushered into the classroom where the children sat in a line, barely containing their excitement at seeing their mothers and grandmothers in their classroom!
I’ve always loved books, so when I had children, of course I planned to read to them. I had a whole list of titles I’d read as a child and enjoyed, and I looked forward to sharing them with the next generation. A trip to the local library also revealed that in the many years since I had read young children’s books–or had them read to me–there had been literally thousands of new books written for children. I (and my children) were spoilt for choice!
However, I soon discovered that just because there were a lot of books for children, that didn’t mean that they were all good. In fact, I was dismayed at just how many really rubbish children’s books there were. They were dull, they had no storyline, they didn’t rhyme (when it was apparent that they were supposed to). They were absolutely, astonishingly, bad literature.