Tag Archives: Parenting

A Mother’s Day tribute with a difference

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On my bedside table sits a beautiful tealight candle holder, inscribed with the words ‘Some people live their whole life through and never find a friend like you’. It’s a gift given to me by my best friend, El, but the words are just as true from me to her.

El

El

This Mother’s Day, instead of a post about my mom (which I’ve done before), I want to write a tribute to El. As a young mother with a lot on her plate, she deserves a little time in the limelight 😉

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For Father’s Day

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Great dads are a dying breed, it seems. So the ones that do exist deserve a special tribute this coming Father’s Day 🙂

Now I wouldn’t want you to call me a ‘daddy’s girl’ – I dislike that term as much as ‘mommy’s boy’ or ‘teacher’s pet’ – but I really love my dad. He’s an irreplaceable part of my life. None of my friends’ fathers ever made me think, ‘I wish my dad were more like him.’

My dad, who I nicknamed Daz, passed along many of his best traits to me. His love of reading, his care with money, his desire for peace and order instead of chaos. In fact, his perfectionism is so much a part of me that I can make a living from it (as a pernickety proofreader)! Our sense of humour and delight in wordplay are also shared characteristics, so we’re quick to tease. On the other side, our thoughtfulness and moments of melancholy help us understand each other too.

Throughout my childhood, my dad was our reliable rock. We could always trust him to provide for us and protect us, no matter what sacrifices it called for. He adapted to each new stage of his children’s developement and looked ahead to find ways to meet our needs. He spent hours around the house fixing our cars, designing our home security system and repairing whatever broke next. His sensible budgeting and careful spending provided for us more comfortably than we may have realised at the time. You know how it is: kids rarely appreciate the motives behind their parents’ decisions until they grow up 😛

In contrast to the wild go-getters and live-for-your-dream type of men who are admired today, my dad is a different kind of hero. He’s the man in the background who faithfully serves the Lord, meets his responsibilities and cares more about his family than his own dreams or treasures. I’ve no doubt that he has aspirations of his own, but he never chased them to the detriment of his family. And though he may not have said it in as many words, that was his way of showing real love.

Growing up, getting married and moving out from under my father’s roof was bound to bring some changes in my relationship with him. But in his wonderful way, Daz simply broadened his care and concern to include Ninja as well. Instead of interfering in our business, he just let us know that he’ll always be there if we need him. Both Ninja and I have enormous respect and appreciation for this man in our lives.

My dad is well read, smart and gifted in many areas. He’s brilliant at designing practical solutions to problems, and I can recall many happy hours spent chatting with him in his garage while he worked on some or other project. There’s not a spot in my parents’ home where you can stand without seeing evidence of my dad’s hard work around you. He’s made his own tools, serviced vehicles, overhauled engines, sorted electrical wiring, fixed plumbing, painted walls, varnished furniture, tiled floors, hung doors… you name it, Daz our handyman could do it!

All that on top of a full-time job with difficult shift work. And the part-time job of being our school teacher.

Yes, that’s right. In addition to everything else on his schedule, my dad homeschooled my brother and I for about a decade. His shift work allowed for it and his orderly approach was perfect for it. He provided the ideal balance of discipline and reward, and we excelled because of it. Together, he and my mom worked tirelessly to give us the best upbringing they knew how.

So just how do you express enough gratitude for someone who’s done so much for you?

At first I wasn’t sure what gift to get for Father’s Day, but when I saw the old Herbie movies on DVD, I snatched them up:

For Father's Day

For Father’s Day

I fondly remember watching this movie ‘back in the day’ and laughing along with Daz at the funny antics.

That’s just one memory out of countless others in a lifetime of being the very blessed daughter of the very best dad :mrgreen:

A Mother’s Day tribute

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Mother's Day gift

Mother’s Day gift

Tomorrow we celebrate Mother’s Day in SA, lauding those hard-working, nurturing souls who raised us.

I’m generalising, of course.

Not everyone has a loving, present or involved mom. But among those who have been blessed with a dear mother in their lives, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone with a mom as unique as mine 😉

My little mommy is funny, eccentric and devoted. She loves the Lord and serves her family wholeheartedly, but she’s no ordinary old-school housewife. Marzipan (as I call her) is headstrong and opinionated, spontaneous and cheerful. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who cared less about what other people think of her actions… and yet it hasn’t made her arrogant.

I look back on my childhood and can only laugh. When other kids’ moms were getting manicures, my Marzipan was climbing the local mulberry trees with my brother and I to get the best berries before the birds did! When other mothers were sending their children to all manner of extramural activities, my mom gave us the freedom roam the neighbourhood and play down by the nearby stream (always praying fervently until we returned safely).

My mom grew up on a smallholding near the sea, so she had a vastly different upbringing to her two city-bred kids. And yet she found ways to give us a healthy, adventurous childhood. Some of my favourite memories are of our family hiking together in the nearby hills and my mom teaching us about the plants, birds and creatures in our area. As a trained horticulturist, her love of nature always drew her outdoors – and often us with her.

She also made sure she instilled a spiritual awareness and knowledge of the gospel in us from an early age. She wasn’t afraid to discuss sin and admit her need for a Saviour, which is something I admired her for as I grew old enough to understand these things. And one of the biggest gifts she gave me was the knowledge that I could turn to my Heavenly Father in prayer anytime, anywhere. She showed by example that faith in Christ is a living relationship with Him, not a formulaic or empty religious ritual.

Marzi is also practical, resourceful and hard-working. I didn’t know it at the time, but watching her while I grew up was good preparation for my own time as a housewife years later. She taught me tricks for storing food and stretching a small budget and turning everyday meals into surprise treats. She showed me that housework and housewifedom wasn’t something to be ashamed of; in fact, it was a goal worth striving for because it led to a balanced life.

As with many mothers and daughters, we did go through seasons when we didn’t agree on much. Life is such that while I was going through the throes of adolescence, my mom was battling with the changes of mid-life. We didn’t understand each other so well back then, but we made it through the rocky patches to enjoy the new relationship we have now.

Now that I’m married and running my own home, I can appreciate my mom from an adult perspective. And we’ve become friends, almost sisters, in the way we connect and tune in to one another. We laugh together, we bake for each other, we think of and pray for each other, and we appreciate each other more than ever.

For Mother’s Day I tried to get Marzipan something she really wanted, so I was delighted to find this beautiful tea towel and some very cute ceramic teacup-shaped teabag holders/spoonrests. And don’t you just love that the box is decorated with the same patterns as the towel? 🙂

A gift for Marzipan

A gift for Marzipan

It’s just a small token of my gratitude to the best mommy in the world :mrgreen: