Thoughts for the future…

Standard

I spend a lot of time staring at my daughter. Her beautiful big blue probably brown eyes, her little button nose, her full head of hair, the reflections of her Father and the familiar aspects of me. At this stage of her life she is as innocent and pure a being as anyone will ever be.

It makes me consider the things I want for her, I’m flawed, so very flawed! I have a temper, I’m impatient, although since giving birth I’ve had a renewed unending patience for her that I never thought I’d be capable of before her! She makes me want to be a better person and like every parent I want the very best for her. But I do have a top three, a list of priorities I wish to bestow on her!

1) Yesterday, on holiday with family on the South coast, as it was a delightful day, we went on the beach. My swimming costume needs washing and I only otherwise have my bikini. Now, as you all know, I had a baby five weeks ago, the model agencies are not exactly banging my door down at the moment! I’m back down to my pre pregnancy clothes size but with plenty more lumps and bumps! Not to mention my still slightly angry looking tiger stripes over my stomach.

‘Never mind,’ I thought, ‘I don’t need to have a swim, I’m happy just sat here.’

However, that was a big fat lie! I LOVE the sea, I’m a Brighton girl born and bred and I was about to miss out because of a few wobbly bits. Now, our baby girl is beautiful, and I want her to always been 100% confident in that beauty. And how could I look her in the eye if I didn’t practise what I plan to preach! Lead by example, it’s the only way forward! So I put my bikini on and held my head up high. If anyone else had a problem with my body, that remained their problem, I was having fun on the beach with my family! So the first thing I want for her is the confidence to never let anyone or anything make her doubt her beauty inside or out. Forget newspapers and magazines trying to dictate to us what ‘beautiful,’ is, I want my baby girl to define and set her own beauty confidence.

2) The second thing I want most for Scarlett is an unending enthusiasm and passion for whatever it is that sparks a fire inside her. In the last year I have lived my life in a way that’s more true to who I am than I have in years. And so many wonderful things have happened as a result; I can add professional writer to my life CV, I’ve been on stage twice despite being absent from it for years, I’ve written scripts that have been used on a Summer school course, I’m married and I have the most beautiful girl in the world. A lot of this is down to my husband who made me believe in myself and have the confidence to be who I am without exception. And without sounding arrogant, I’m proud to have been able to repay him the favour. He now walks round with his own awesome style and a fantastic moustache that he previously didn’t feel he could really do. He takes immense joy, as do I, in creative hobbies and board games, something that has really nurtured and set free his creativity but again something he’d stopped doing so much. His career has flourished over the last 12 months and this April, he watched his first play being performed on stage; a play that this time last year I told him he should write, because I believed in him when he was unsure and I gave him a little push to go for it, and it was a huge success! We bring out the best in each other and have enabled one another to freely be the people we truly are, and allowed each other to release the enthusiasm and the passion for things and it’s paid off enormously for both of us. Passion and enthusiasm are both things that often get quashed down in life by circumstances or other people even if not purposefully.

When I was at school, I used to turn down night out invitations to watch (and mark!) the Eurovision Song Contest with my family, a tradition that has always been of huge enjoyment to me. So much so that in 2006, my Dad, baby brother and I travelled to Athens to watch it live! (The year that Hard Rock Hallelujah won – it was a brilliant year to have watched!) My point is, I was unashamedly myself but somewhere in my twenties stopped believing in it quite so much and cut down on my hobbies. No-ones fault but my own. I tried to be ‘cooler,’ tried to be a bit more ‘normal.’ And although I had a brilliant time in my twenties, and cannot take any credit away from the things I did and thoroughly enjoyed, it was a toned down version of who I really am. And my husband was the same, he did a lot of great stuff in his twenties and would never take away from the people he spent it with but he was a toned down version of himself.

A lot of it is also down to our age, many people tone themselves down in their twenties trying to fit in in that awkward stage between childhood and established adulthood. But I don’t want Scarlett to feel she has to tone herself down for anything or anyone; I want to give her the confidence to never try to fit in, ‘normal’ is another word for ‘average,’ and there’s no reason anyone has to be average. Every single person has the capability to be extraordinary. And our daughter is going to be truly extraordinary!

3) The third and final thing I want for her, is to know how in love with each other her parents are. How much we respect and adore one another and her. I think it’s so desperately important, it’ll be her first example of a relationship, it’ll be the first thing she can use as a template for forming her own relationships in the future. Ours will never necessarily be a huge fancy home but we aim to fill it with happy times, and an openness and honesty that hopefully gives her a positive outlook and confidence to live her life in a similarly open, honest and loving way. My husband and I are lucky to both be very close to our families and it is down to them that we’ve turned out the way we have (so on the other hand, they also only have themselves to blame!), we want her to also be aware of the mistakes we inevitably make so she can learn from us. Whatever happens in life; illness, misfortune, sad times, it’s so important to us for her to know that whatever is going on; her parents love one another and her. Family can get through unimaginable hard times with open hearts and honesty. It sounds incredibly twee and I promise I’m not about to burst into song but I really believe that that is an important foundation.

So those are my top three! I know it may sound ridiculous that I’m not listing more practical things as the important things I want for my daughter, many people will disagree with me (and I’m sure many will think I have a much too idealistic view on life!), but these three things are the three most important things I wish to give my baby girl.

I have no idea what her future holds; excitingly and frighteningly, that’s all in her hands. But as I stare down at her beautiful face, not even totally sure what colour her eyes are going to be yet, I hope I can give her these three things, three things that I see as core values. Core values that brought my husband and I together in the first place, which in turn lead to her being created in the first place!

Everyone wants the best for their children, but everyone’s idea of, ‘the best,’ is different. I’ve said many times and I still believe that every parent does the best they can do. And it’s so important that we do. The world is a pretty terrifying place comrades and we are creating the next generation; in fact the course of the future may well be shaped by our beautiful boys and girls. So if we’re bringing up the new generation dear friends, let’s make it a bloody good one!

IMG_1736.JPG

Advertisements

Hopes and dreams…

Standard

I have always been an advocate of dreaming big, that way, there’s always something to aspire to, something to look forward to, something to plan for. But I am also a ridiculous writer of lists so the opportunity to make another one is always an exciting prospect for me… (small things!)

Because of that, I have written a bucket list (for those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a list of things you want to achieve in your lifetime) I wrote it firstly as an early teen and then during the various stages of my life and development of my personality (I’m not quite as bothered about owning a pair of Kappa popper trousers as I evidently was aged 13) have updated it accordingly.

With the little one on the way, it got me thinking about what her hopes and dreams might be and as discussed in my last blog entry, we’ve been thinking a lot about what her personality will be. But one of the things that occurred to be post posting, was how much my personality was perhaps different to how my parents thought it might turn out. What did they want me to achieve? What type of adult did they hope I’d turn out to be? As a child, most of the things I did was because my parents decided it for me (I say most because I don’t think they had much say in the playdoh eating incident of 1990) I went horse riding because they took me horseriding, I learnt to play the piano because my parents arranged for me to do so. Even down to smaller things, we spent a lot of time on the beach because ‘home’ was still Brighton and we spent a lot of time with family there on the beach; and consequently I have a real love of the seaside and swimming in the sea. A love that could probably not have naturally developed in the town I grew up in in the middle of the Cotswolds.

 

And it then got me thinking about the bucket list in my head for my child. What do I hope for her? What do I want for her to do? Some of them inevitably will clash with who she develops to be and some she will have no interest in doing herself but for the first few years at least, it’s down to us as parents to shape her experiences.

So, as it quite nicely leads on to an opportunity to make a list, I thought I’d write a really quick one of the first 20 things that come to mind that I hope for my baby girl to experience or achieve in her lifetime. Maybe I’ll show her when she’s a teenager and she can be embarrassed by my ridiculous ideas or impressed at how many she’s already ticked off, who knows! The list is random, because it is literally some of the first things to fall out of my mind so please do excuse the random jumps in timeline!

1) See as much of the amazing world around us as well as falling in love with wherever is home

2) Spend a day in a home made fort (wearing cape and mask optional but recommended)

3) Fall in love

4) Also to have her heart broken, something that will break my heart but I really do believe is a necessary part of life (saying that, her Dad reserves the right to be on hand with a shotgun for whoever breaks it..!)

5) Disappear into a book and feel that connection to a whole new world of adventure

6) Experience new cuisines, new experiences and new ways of doing things so she can truly make decisions on her own tastes and preferences

7) Laugh so much her tummy hurts, preferably often

8) Do things with complete abandon; whether it be dancing to whatever tune is in her head regardless of whose around, or having the confidence to be into an unpopular pastime without fear of ‘being the loser’

9) Be a good friend to others and to have good friends

10) Learn about her history and be proud of where she’s come from

11) Be generous and charitable to others and appreciate whatever she may have without dwelling on what is popularly termed online these days as ‘first world problems’

12) Have a zest for life and be able to pass this zest onto other people

13) Make mistakes and be able to learn from them and not let them be in charge of her

14) have the courage to do things that scare her

15) Get completely wrapped up in a first love relationship and experience the innocent bliss of young love

16) Run down a hill, with that ridiculous freedom and energy that only kids posses

17) Build a snowman

18) Find joy in the ridiculous and appreciate the value of time spent just enjoying ‘playing’ even as an adult

19) Have no limit to her imagination

20) Have a determination to make her mark, however that may be

 

PS. At age 15 I managed to get that pair of Kappa popper trousers so dreams really can come true…