Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lift me up

This week it is my daughter's 7th birthday. I feel a bit elderly saying this but I can still remember the day she was born as if it were yesterday. Her clear almond cerulean eyes gazed calmly over me, the hospital room and all the people crowded around, as if to say, what is all the fuss about?



She is no different seven years later, a little fey sprite who looks upon the world and its foibles with a bemused smile, interpersing her invented faery songs and woodland dances with carefully considered cross examination style questions (clearly the daughter of two lawyers). As several people have observed, she has the soul of an Edwardian lady.



Here is a little pen drawing she did for Mother's Day last year. The larger skirted lady is me and the smaller person is her.



I realise that in posting this image I am breaking one of my own Top 10 Rules of Blogging (do not imagine your own children's art is interesting to anyone else) but I think it illustrates really well the way small children view the world and their parents - as something much bigger which overshadows but nevertheless still protects them.

I have framed this drawing and I hang it in a place I walk past frequently as it reminds me of something very important, which is this:

At those times when I am being impatient or busy or irritated or distracted (which I fear is probably way too often) I need to remember that this drawing reflects the way my daughter sees me, as someone with the strength to hold her up high. And that I should always try to lift her up rather than drag her down.

The greatest challenge of all is not to taint the relationships we have with our children with our own insecurities, preconceptions and dark bruises of the past.


These are my thoughts today, as I finish planning for a little girl's Disco Pop Diva party for this weekend, complete with disco ball (provided I can install a hook in a very high ceiling without breaking a leg).



By the way - any thoughts on a glittery microphone cake? My microphones always look like icecream cones, so I am thinking instead of something square, pink and straightforward.

18 comments:

mise said...

It's a lovely drawing, she has a lovely bed, and it's a lovely post. Happy birthday, Jane's daughter! I like how she is at your level in the drawing - clearly she sees herself as a friend of yours as well as your child, and all your tallness is elevating rather than dominating to her. The disco ball is perfect, and I'm making mental note for when my own fairy turns 5.

Millie said...

Such a beautiful post Jane! I'm sure you will always be your little girl's hero, you have fantastic Mothering skills. And in my experience you never stop lifting your kids up with the occasional pep-talk or 5. I always maintain that they should know you will be their biggest fan, forever.
Millie ^_^

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Oh my Jane, a truly happy birthday to your dear daughter at seven. Your words are so perfect how you think of her & how you interpret her drawing. Not to forget the wise words for the role of mother. I so had to smile when you wrote about dark bruises of the past. I never wanted my insecurities passed on to my children. I wanted them to so much different than me. Full of confidence and self-worth. Your daughter will have a great day, I just know it; microphone or ice cream cone shaped cake or not! Thanks for your comment today. I am so pleased I didn't muck you up & did good. So worried I might offend some one?!! Cheers ~ xx deb

brismod said...

You write so beautifully...

I used to think the same thing about children's art. Then I realised there is more freedom of expression in what they draw - they are not limited in their imagination, there is always a story and they are, above all, truthful. A shame they don't get to use the artist quality materials which produces a nicer finish!

Oh, I would suggest the retro square microphone for the cake...

Cath from chunkychooky said...

I love the drawing it is so gorgeous. I would be absolutely no help what so ever...maybe you could ask cathie at melboure epicure- she makes lots of cakes... I can send you a linkn to her blog if you like??

Lee said...

Jane, I think your daughter's art work is beautiful, and it sounds as though you have a wonderful relationship with her. I hope she enjoys her disco diva party. Lee :)

Jacqueline said...

Many Happy Returns of the day, Jane's daughter. I wish you the best of birthdays and a brilliant disco. What cake ? I'm sure that she will love whatever you make, Jane.
Brilliant drawing. Aren't children's drawings interesting ?....and we always want to analyse them. I think that we can take it as read that you have a great relationship with her which will continue forever (with a few differences along the way !!)
I'm sure that all of the family will enjoy the day. After all, you're only seven once. XXXX

theoldboathouse said...

I agree. I also think it is important not to taint their relationships with others by our own relationship with those people, ie Grandparents and aunts and Uncles. cheers
Katherine

Fabulously french said...

Hope that your daughter has a fabulous birthday, the word disco takes me back to NZ when I was growing up and "Kiss" was the band that everyone loved. Not sure that I should mention it to my friends here in France - somethings are best forgotten.

Leeann x

far out brussel sprout said...

that was one of the loveliest posts I have read in a long time. thank you.

Cyma said...

Great post! A very Happy Birthday to your lil girl, you write very well Jane :)

jane said...

hey- how do i get me an invite? sounds like it´s going to be the happening place this weekend. happy birthday to your sweet little girl... and to mommy too!

eco-stylista said...

Dear Jane, your thouhts are as clever as always. I agree with you about not dragging the children down if you feel down. Unfotunately, my mother did that very often so I try to aovid it as much as possible.
My son's birthday is also this week, on the 29th. We will have the party in two weeks. My sons insist on a transformers/dinosaurs/spiderman party which I do not want at all!!But I guess this is their big day! Good luck with the party and happy birthday to your daughter!

Jane said...

Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions.

I am going with Basic Cake Model no 1.

I think that a little girl who asked me, as she did tonight, to rub some Bio Oil into her dry elbows (what kind of a 7 year old notices dry elbows?) has quite enough detail and eccentricity in her life !

Lucy said...

possibly because my daughter is only 2 and i can only dream of her being able to do such a fantastic picture i think your daughters picture is the nicest thing i've seen on the web today...

happy birthday to her, and hope you have a wonderful day of her birthday too.

Simone said...

Hi Jane

Just had to say that your daughter's drawing is wonderful and I love that you shared it. She sounds like a very precious little girl. I love what you have written in this post....

Have fun with the Disco Diva party...my 8 yr old would love that!

Simone

Vicki said...

Hi Jane,

I love your daughters' drawing! She's so balanced, same amount of flowers, curls and toes and she has herself in a mirror image of mum. It's a gem indeed.
Vickixx

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