Work, rest and play are so intertwined here at Bodylushious. There’s a lot of guilt as a mum, for the things you do or don’t do. It can feel unrelenting. That’s why so much of what Bodylushious is about focuses on wellbeing and finding ways to thrive, whether that means being more comfortable in your own skin, or nurturing friendships which, let’s be honest, can be difficult to find time for. Every now and again I try to think outside the box, find time to celebrate the little things that can fly by if you don’t stop to catch them.
This month, Poppit had a “Growing up/good behaviour” party. The week before, it occurred to me that in the year since we’d been living in Burntisland my wee man had achieved so much. As a parent and, well, as a human actually, there is so much focus on what next, and although the days can seem really long with children, so much of my attention as a parent is spent on cajoling Poppit into doing the next thing… be it getting dressed or undressed, out the door, in the door, in the car, out the car… you get the drift. And then the bigger stuff: “you need to go to nursery to play, learn to be a big boy and make new friends”, or “you’re not a baby anymore, you don’t need a nappy, how about the potty”, or “it would make me so happy if you were to share your toys, the way that mummy shares hers” … again, you get my drift. The stuff these wee people are learning, practising and mastering in what is actually a short space of time in relation to their years in the world is nothing short of OUTSTANDING when you think about it. And in our society the only day we celebrate them and only them is their birthday. (Well, yes, I know – every day is about them, right, and we get to the end of days feeling depleted and exhausted because they’ve drawn out every last bit of energy and patience we have). But stand aside for a moment and just look at how amazing it is all that they’re achieving. Somehow, even with a birthday, or even Christmas, Easter, school holidays, whatever event is happening that ends up feeling all about ‘them’, actually really isn’t. A party is about “what will we feed all the guests, what would I like you to wear and who would I like you to invite, and do we really need to invite the entire class, what gift will we send away with the guests, is Jo Bloggs going to be happy to come along, will it be too much for the grandparents, how do I tell people to chill out on buying gifts, there’s just so much to do for this party…” It’s madness. When you look at this from a child’s point of view, I’m sure all they want is a day spent in a way THEY decide for themselves. That realisation is where my proudest moment happened:
Let’s have a party for Poppit where he gets to make ALL the decisions, and we celebrate all he has achieved in getting to this point right now.
My word, you’ve never seen a child so excited. His wishlist was very simple:
o Party guests would be mummy, daddy and himself
o Light savers, one each for mummy, daddy and himself to do light savering’ (no I’ve not mis-spelled, that’s what he calls them).
o Christmas Decorations
o Bits and Pieces (food)
o Specials and not specials (junk food and non-junk food)
I won’t go into all the details as I’ll just get carried away, but the actual party was so sweet, and so simple. We ‘light savered’ each other for about half an hour indoors then after food ventured outdoors for a couple of hours. Cue more Light Savering and playing football, Poppit chose to make a camp fire (by collecting and piling up grass, sticks and leaves) and in the process attracted the interest of two young boys who really got into it, these new pals and Poppit playing so well together.
When I reflect back, I remember reading or hearing when Poppit was 2 that you should invite the number of guests to match the age the child is turning (and I really like that idea, despite not ever achieving it). Here we were as Poppit approaches 4, in the Meadows in Edinburgh, Poppit and 4 of us making a campfire and eating chocolate cake on his special day. Crazy how it all worked out – perfect you could say.
Thanks for reading. Hope you find time to celebrate something little this week! Bronwyn x