An instrument of change

9 April 2013
Again, thank you for all the love and warmth being sent to lift my spirits. I'm still feeling weak but I was up all day yesterday and it was such a relief to not have to stay in bed all day. Hanno made us a delicious leek and potato soup for dinner, it was my first real food in five days and it went down well. BTW, for those of you who commented that my list should have included "looking after myself", that didn't have to be listed. It was happening anyway, and will continue.

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My family is moving into a more stable phase with both Alex and Jamie starting day care and their parents lives setting down a bit after the tumultuous changes brought about by being first-time parents. No one ever knows what to expect with their first baby, it's all happiness and joy mixed with a bit of pain and confusion in those first months before baby starts settling and parents realise what a profound change they've just gone through. There is no going back. Then there are the physical changes and extra work to deal with, and all the way through those first two years there is a lot of learning, not only with the baby learning new things but the parents learning about love and the future and how to work towards both. It takes a while to take on all these changes and work out a style of parenting that suits both personality and family. It's not easy but if this basic ground work is done, it builds a very firm foundation on which a child builds a life.

Jamie with the little wheelbarrow, just like Opa's, we gave him for his birthday.

My role through this time has been to support my sons and daughters-in-law as well as the babies, by helping to maintain a stable family, by showing unconditional love and by providing help whenever I could.

Jamie and Alex are both starting to talk, and now that we see Jamie much more frequently it's a joy to be with him, watching, as he goes through this wonderful life change. We know how difficult it is when you're working and trying to raise children to be self-confident, contribute to the country and build a life for themselves. We did it ourselves and we see our own children doing it now. We're lucky that we have been able to step back and create an unusual life here where we can support ourselves by growing food and raising chickens in the backyard, and where life has taken on its own enriching, gentler pace.

I see our life now as continuing along this simple path and being a stable support for our family, a helping hand outstretched every time it's needed. It is still our responsibility to provide leadership and care, but without interference. We expect Alex and Jamie's parents to provide most of what the boys need but one of the things we can provide is to show, by example, how to live simply, to appreciate what we have and to demonstrate, without doubt, that while the commercial world will throw all the gadgetry, gimmicks and glitter at them, this way of living provides clarity, enrichment and happiness. I have no doubt Alex and Jamie will benefit from all the new discoveries made during their lifetime, just as I have benefited from those in mine, but I hope they remember all through their lives that sustainability is equally important and that a wheelbarrow can also an instrument of change.