Tagged with " life"

An Epitaph to a Fish

Here lies little blue fishie,
In a pink polka dot box,
I didn’t know her when she lived,
But I’ll miss her now she’s gone.

Oh the tears the tears!

As we had breakfast this morning, I spotted a female guppy, floating belly-up. As we proceeded to remove the expired fish (destined for the compost collection), Georgia’s lower lip starts quivering, then her eyes start reddening and welling up, and in a blink, we have grief in full force.

Horrible as it may sound, it was rather difficult to make sense of it all, from a Parenting perspective. That one guppy was actually one of about 50, with more new babies too. Georgia had not actually formed any real attachment to that fish in particular.

In fact, in a later conversation, while she was still upset….
Me: The blue fishie is OK. She’s just gone on to a different place now.
G: It was a blue fishie?…..but I will miss that blue fishie.

But then as we know, we all deal with grief in different ways. Perhaps G was really thinking of something else, and the fish provided an ‘outlet’. Whatever the cause, it was quite an interesting lesson in the full circle of life, and because I subscribe to Buddhist-type beliefs, it was a great lesson on the impermanance of life.

Thankfully, school today provided a much needed distraction. Although it pretty much set the tone for the day.

We promised her ‘closure’, so we made a coffin (origami paper box), she founds some daisies and other bits to put in it. And because she’s been doing prayers in school, we said a little one for the fish.

Fishie go to sleep and rest now
You’ll be happy now.

Phew! I’m glad it’s tomorrow in 5 minutes time.

Apr 1, 2011 - Family, Life, Parenting    No Comments

Balloons, balloons, are everywhere…

As we rushed back from school, to change in to a fabulous Belle princess outfit complete with tiara and dressy heels, foremost on Georgia’s mind was – are there going to be balloons at the party?

As I tried to distract her with the need to get ready, I also mentioned that we had discussed it before we confirmed our attendance that even if there were balloons, if she wanted to go, I would take her and if she wanted to leave we would.

And so it was, hindered by potentially globophobia (fear of balloons) or more likely the fear of balloons popping, ligyrophobia; pretty Princess Belle, sat pretty much glued to me, with her hands covering her ears the entire 30 minutes we were there at the party, while everyone else was running around with the balloons.

Georgia wasn’t always afraid of balloons, we actually had quite a fun time with a balloon drop on her 2nd birthday, which I think was also about the same time the fear developed, having heard balloons pop, up close.

Thinking about it further, it does seem to me, that we shall have to get some balloons to play with at home, if only to show Georgia gradually that, they really only make a loud noise and nothing much else.

Having said that, I’ve never been a big fan of balloons myself, I remember only touching balloons, or playing with them if they were blown up way less than the maximum, where the little ‘bump’ on the tip was still significantly visible, if only to convince myself that the balloon wasn’t stretched to breaking point.

How ‘transferable’ are our fears on to our children? Given that I no longer fear balloons popping, but did for quite a long while, although not after Georgia came along .

Have you had to deal with this or any other type of seemingly irrational fear, in yourself or your children? What has worked best?

Mar 14, 2011 - Culture, Learning, Life, Parenting, School    6 Comments

Japan: How young is too young?

As I watch and read and read and read about the devastation, first of the earthquake in Japan, and then the tsunami, and the current nuclear reactor scares, I keep wondering if we should mention it to Georgia.

The likelihood of her ever finding out herself, at home, is somewhat, highly improbable, given that we do not watch live TV (news), or listen to the radio. If she does learn of it, it is most likely through school.

A (probably crazy academic!) part of me, sees so many ‘lessons’, geography (earthquakes, tsunamis), social studies (charity, sharing etc), history (as it unfolds!) and yet, deep down, I really don’t want to scare or worry a five-year-old needlessly.

How young is too young to be told of such events?

On Raising Girls

…in conjunction with International Women’s Day Centenary

As Georgia grows up, I often find myself contemplating the messages that I send to her through my actions, the things I say, the way I am and more importantly, the choices I make or have made.

And as we celebrate the centenary of the International Women’s Day (on the 8th March 2011), it seems just the right time to articulate my thoughts. In an open letter to a now 5-year old Georgia, I want her to know …
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Conversations with Georgia: Please God…

Georgia came back from spending a few days with Mama (Grandma) and Grandpa, and she said to us:

G: You know, we went to the garden centre and it was really nice, we saw guinea pigs and rabbits and even some fish.
Me: Mmm…What did you do there?
G: We had some lunch, I had some jacket potato with cheese.
Me: That sounds nice.
G: Yeah and you know we saw this really funny hanging thing that Mama wanted to buy!
Me: Oh is it?
G: And do you know what it said? (With a very serious expression, and very big eyes)
Me: No, what did it say?
G: It said, ‘God if you can’t make me thin, please make all my friends fat!’ Imagine! (she says with a shrug)

At which point, we both burst out laughing! 🙂

A Successful Life vs. A Successful Parent?

In the Sunday Times newspaper a week ago today,  (OK in all honesty, I probably read it in the middle of the week) at the end of the Money section was an interview with Hilary Devey who was taking over from James  Caan as the next Dragon on Dragon’s Den. (Dragon’s Den is a TV programme in which potential start-ups are given the opportunity to pitch their business/business ideas to already established (read Rich!) entrepreneurs)

Multi-millionaire Hilary Devey made her fortune with a pallet distribution business that she started in 1996. In typical rags to riches fashion, she had her fair share of extreme poverty moments, living above a fish and chip shop (cheaper rent) and even describes having a Christmas dinner out of a tin. The business/entrepreneurial and over-achiever side of me admires and is rather jealous of the tenacity, hard work and steely resolve Devey must have had in order to be so successful.

However, in the interview, there is a telling sign, her answer to the question ‘How much money do you have in your wallet?’ is ‘ My purse is often empty because it’s raided by my son….’ Read more »