When considering prudent advice for my daughters, what better place to start than with the foundations of their very existence… our family. Thank you to everyone who read my first post, which introduced the concept of this blog and hopefully gave you a flavour of what’s to come (besides my trepidation of the task at hand!). It is now, however, that things get interesting. Not least because I don’t really know where this topic is going to take me!
As previously explained, I will be using the general structure of the keepsake journal that inspired me to start this blog, ‘My Prudent Advice’, as a guide. The headings below are taken from the journal and the answers are mine, written to my daughters, Anya and Ellora. It is at this point that I wonder if I should warn my family members that I am about to publish a blog post centered around them, but I’ll worry about that later as I’m trying to finish before the girls wake up! I suspect this particular post will serve as a way for readers to get to know me a little better, but, you never know, we may touch on some topics for discussion too.
So, here we go with Chapter 1…
About my mother: My mum (your Nanny) is my absolute rock. You already love her “very lots” (Anya) which is to be expected given that she and I are apparently very similar. This may mean that you could turn out to be a lot like me – sorry about that! Nanny married your lovely Poppa in 2008 and they now live happily ever after with your favourite relative, Bonnie the dog, in Sheffield. Nanny is a librarian and that’s why you already own 17,892 books.
About my father: Your Grandpa taught me how to make Yorkshire puddings, how to drive and how to take the sort of beautiful photographs you deserve to be captured in. I inherited his determination and passion for pursuing new hobbies and already see some of his creative qualities in you. Grandpa married Grandma in 2009 and they live by the seaside in North Yorkshire – somewhere I regret not visiting more often and hope to do so with you soon.
About my siblings: My only sibling, your Uncle Jack, is a music loving, aeronautical engineering, facial hair supporting traveler of the world who currently resides in Berlin (although I wouldn’t be surprised if he is living in South America by the time you’re old enough to read this – the women will draw him back sooner or later). Your Uncle Jack would do absolutely anything for you. Especially if it involves fancy dress and/or fish and chips.
Three words that best describe my childhood are: Active, loving, happy. Emphasis on ‘active’… believe it or not, you won’t find a photo of me as a child without some sort of fleece, cagoule or walking boots on.
A challenge we faced as a family: Something we’ve lived with for a while and are still facing is the challenge of being apart a lot of the time. We love our life in London but I do miss my ‘home’ in Yorkshire and the people I associate with it. We overcome this with regular visits up and down the country and to Germany, plus, you know, FaceTime (particularly with Nanny!).
Some values I believe our family shares: Many of the family members on my side are vegetarian or pescatarian and we choose cruelty-free products where at all possible. We are huge animal lovers and feel particularly strongly about choosing rescue animals as family pets (as we did with our lovely cat, Audrey). I would describe us as hard working, compassionate and open minded to new things, but above all I would say that we are continually learning and developing ourselves (be it through reading, observing others or the occasional alcohol-fueled debate at family gatherings).
My hope is that when you think of home as an adult you feel: Safe, secure and loved.
Some wisdom passed down through our family: Your Nanny taught me that it’s okay not to follow the crowd – something I think we all feel compelled to do from time to time – because you can get so much further by being yourself. One thing you may have noticed is that the women in our family are strong (some may even use the word fierce!), and I only hope I can live up to the example set by the generation before me. Oh, and we ALWAYS win at Articulate.
Other prudent advice: Be better than me at remembering family birthdays. Tell Siri (or her equivalent in the future) to store them to your phone because it really should be a simple task and it means a lot. On a similar note, make time to keep in touch with family members between gatherings because, no matter how busy you think you are, those connections are treasured and your circle of kin are ready and waiting to support you through anything. You are not, and never will be, alone in this world.
Thank you to those of you who’ve read this far – this first topic felt like quite a personal way to kick things off… I imagine the subsequent chapters will leave more opportunity for discussion. Please feel free to leave a comment if you can relate to any of the above, or if you think I’ve missed a trick with my advice ‘On Family’! The next chapter, ‘On Friendship’, will follow soon so please do stay tuned (I’m pretty excited about that one). In the mean time, I thought I’d put some faces to the names mentioned above (very sorry to all those pictured!):