Whose great idea was this clocks going forward thing! Waking up at half 6 and just knowing that this time last week it was half past 5 is an annual hatred of mine.
Nearly a month since I updated! I am sorry. It's been a busy month but that's no excuse. Really I've had lots of ideas going round my mind but no coherent post. So have an incoherent one instead! So much more fun. Who needs coherency on a wet Wednesday afternoon anyway?
Since I last updated there have been some truly awful events. Earthquakes in New Zealand, a tsunami and really devastating set of earthquake and aftershocks in Japan. On a smaller scale two acquaintances of ours have had sadness I cannot bear to imagine - one lost her husband and the other lost their baby son during the second trimester. My heart goes out to everyone affected by all of these tragedies, and I've held so many people in the light, and will continue to do so.
Duckling won't remember any of these events. The thing that will stay with her, however, is any behaviours and tools we demonstrate for coping with grief, disaster and tragedy. I don't know that there's a right or wrong way to handle these things so long as you DO address them. We talk about things that happen and what people can and can't do to help, and we try to be open with our own emotional responses. So far I think her understanding of charity is that it's GREAT fun to put things in the bags to go to the Shelter shop! We'll connect that to its impact on people a bit more solidly later on I think.
I've openly cried in front of her many times. It used to scare her when she was littler but I am always careful to explain that mummy is sad but it's not her fault and give her an explanation she can at least nearly understand. Now she's not scared of mummy showing an emotional, human side, and she's developing her compassionate side. She will cuddle me and blow me kisses ('disses') and make me little cups of air flavoured tea in her toy kitchen (Good British child!). She is still scared when Mr. P or I get ill, but that's understandable.
On the other side of this I'm trying to be mindful of her feelings too It's SO easy to dismiss toddler melodrama but it matters so much to her! Getting to her level and empathising makes a huge difference to her being able to work out her own difficult emotions. And sometimes, like her mum, she just wants everyone to go away and give her space while she processes stuff, so we've implemented the 'come find me when you want a cuddle' system. She stomps and so on then when she's exhausted that need she comes to be reassured I love her after all that.
Not that it's all doom and gloom in the purpleduck house these days! The sun has been out and we've done fun things in the garden, played in the park, done fun things, met friends (though not all the ones we' like to catch up with, yet!) and been very silly together! It's amazing what you'll do to hear an addictive toddler giggle! We had great fun painting cards in the garden for some of Duckling's special people, last week. We ended up painting her toes for the fun of it and making stompy footprints.
Our small local Meeting met in OUR home town instead of the next one over last weekend, in our search for new premises. It worked really well, but not everyone made it. I hope more people can manage next time. The space was small but nice. there's a little space for the children's Meeting and a small but bigger room for the adult Meeting. We're near the beach and a good park for the kids when the weather's ok. The littles joined the bigs for the last 5 minutes as usual - though Duckling missed her daddy part way through and wandered solemnly into Adult Meeting, gave him a big cuddle then silently came back to Children's Meeting. Sounds like perfectly good Ministry to me! The feeling of the building is nice - cosy and welcoming. I hope we carry on our Meeting there after the 3 month experiment we've agreed to. Though saying that I do love meeting at our F/friends' house too. But this feels right to me.
I've volunteered to do children's Meeting next time. It's on Easter Sunday. On the one hand maybe that's an easy theme, on the other hand I can't help thinking that the 'every day is holy' thing is leading me to branch out from there, maybe do something different, or talk about spring and new life and why the church as a whole adopted this time of year, maybe have some short stories from other cultures' spring traditions. Or we can colour in Easter egg pictures, paint eggs or ice Easter biscuits. Or ice a simnel cake. :) Ooo, or make rice crispy cake nests with chocolate eggs! Mmm, chocolate...