DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

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20 December 2007

Families

I took this photo of Kerry and Hanno just before I drove Kerry to the bus the other day. He'd just woken up, and he's not a morning person. ; ) I love having our sons visit us. When we were sitting around the table the other night, talking and telling each other of our plans, I felt that deep and genuine contentment that often visits me nowadays. Shane and Kerry have become all I ever wanted them to be, and as a mother, that makes me very proud. I love how they still feel a strong connection with us as a family and they return home for most of our important days so we celebrate together. No doubt there will be a time when our family expands to include wives and babies, and while I look forward to that, I do treasure these times when it's just us.

When you think about it, you only form a really close and intimate relationship with a few people during the course of a lifetime. Usually that closeness is with your immediate family and a few friends. They are the people who know you in good times and bad, and yet love you no matter what. I like to think I (and Hanno) made our sons what they are today but the real truth is that they made me what I am. They made me a better person than I was because I had to be a role model for them. My wish to raise decent and caring boys made me model that behaviour; they forced me to be genuine, hard working, loving and tender because that is what I wanted them to be. And while I don't like to speak for Hanno, I'm pretty sure he would feel the same way.

There were times when I wondered if I was doing the right thing, as well as times when I didn't have a clue and just kept going on hope and trust. That was when I operated on motherly instinct. I have lived the ups and downs of all those years, I know my own imperfections and see some of them in my children too, but I've always had the belief that we were doing okay. So sitting at the dinner table on Monday night and seeing three decent men - my husband and my sons, with a strong sense of themselves and a true depth of character, well, that just made me smile and be thankful that we were all there together and looking forward to another year.

I hope you hold your family close at Christmas.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Rhonda,

    Families define who you are, it doesn't matter what car you drive, where you live or what you do for a living, you will always find out more about someone from visiting with their family for one afternoon than you would in a whole month of time with them by themselves.

    It's wonderful that your sons have a close tie to you still, it seems that a lot of people drift away from their families once they become an adult which is a terrible shame.

    My husband is Greek in heritage and family ties in that culture are very strong. I hope we can pass that on to our own children.

    I'm glad to hear you had a lovely visit from your sons!

    :-)

    Shell.

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  2. Interesting post. Our families and close friends can become mirrors upon ourselves, and make us see ourselves through others' eyes. I think I've made a lot of changes to my own sense of self because of this new perspective.

    In this age of increased mobility, my husband and I are finding we have to choose between sticking to our low-impact lifestyle and seeing our family. (We live about 1,000 miles away from each other.) So it's a tough choice, but family usually wins out.

    Making that choice, though, does place even more value on that family visit: the quality time becomes more dear, the little helpful suggestions to our family about sustainability become wishful carbon offsets of the trip, and we try to learn as much as possible from each trip to get the most out of our environmental impact.

    Sorry, I went a bit off the topic probably. Your post got my thoughts running! I'm sure you have some of the same thoughts going through your head?

    Melinda, Elements In Time

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  3. Oh Rhonda-you said it all! I often wondered what my children would be like as adults and now that I know I am so proud of the adults they have become and I see that they made me what I am too.

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  4. What a beautiful post Rhonda :) That is how I feel about my sons too; that they have recarved my soul. I'm so glad for being able to share my journey with theirs.

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  5. RJ, How I hope I can write something like this in 20 years time when my boys are all grown up. I was screaming at one of them this evening about something that didn't really matter and your words remind me to behave how I would wish they would behave...Kerry is a real mix of the two of you.

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  6. Speaking as a single mother of 4 boys... it gives me heart when I read things like this. My kids are 16 - 11, and I hope that when they're grown up and gone they'll still come bck on important days and reconnect as a family.
    I suppose the proof will be in the pudding. I'm glad that it's all fallen into place for you and Hanno.

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  7. What a great post Rhonda Jean!
    Family is so very important...
    I do so hope that when my children leave home that we will still have a close relationship...
    I still have a few years but I am treasuring every minute as the time flies so quickly!

    Glad that you had a nice visit with your sons!

    Wishing you a blessed day!

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  8. Rhonda, I like what you said here about having meaningful relationships with only a few close people. It's so true. And it's those relationships we should invest in.

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  9. "the real truth is that they made me what I am. They made me a better person than I was because I had to be a role model for them. My wish to raise decent and caring boys made me model that behaviour; they forced me to be genuine, hard working, loving and tender because that is what I wanted them to be."

    Amen!!!!!!

    We struggled for many years thinking that the world was messed up enough that maybe we shouldn't have children. Praise God that He changed our minds!

    I've been challenged, stretched, transformed, and yet there is so much room for improvement. And my oldest is only 3.

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