Why Was Milly Always Given More Sweets Than Mandy and Me?

Sweets… treats… yummy… gummySprinkles… choco… rocko… sugar plum… raisin rum… fruity gel… caramel…!!!

In moderation…all fine and fun and fabulous. Especially as a child…if we had been good…sweets.  If Mum and Dad were proud of us…sweets!  If we went to visit our Nanna’s home…sweets!!  If we had to go to the Doctor’s surgery or the dentist’s practice…sweets!!!

Oh yeah!!!!

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

I have my favourites, I have to admit.   However, I am not overly fussy when it comes to naughty sweet treats…I am just not a big fan of those chalky fizzy sweets – you know the ones I mean?  Except Love Hearts…even though I don’t really like eating them…I applaud the concept.  One of my friends had a wedding cake which was plastered with love hearts and had sticks of candy rock as the supports to each tier of the cake.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

My own personal favourites were white chocolate mice.  Amongst the highest echelons of sweetie perfeChocolate Micection!  I liked the brown chocolate mice as well.  But as a little one, the reward of white chocolate mice after being a good girl for mum when we went on an errand with her was epic!  I would do a little celebratory dance to show my gladness. When the sweet shop man handed us our paper bag with our treasured sweeties, I would say “thank you thank you thank you with sugar sprinkles and a cherry on top”.  Utter exquisite happiness…all for 10p!  Thanks Mumma…for all those delicious white mice you bought me throughout good days and bad.  The mice you bought to cheer me up during my trials and tribulations.  The mice you bought when I had done something you approved of and you wanted to reinforce in me that I should be a good good girl.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

bournville with choc

I found two favourite chocolate bars.  I would save my pocket money (when I was old enough to be given pocket money) and these were my two favourite chocolate bars for many many years.

Caramac

 

 

 

However… I  have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

When I look back (retrospectively…ha ha – still in the habit hey!!!) I have to admit I was never without sweets.   Of course if I had been naughty, then naturally sweets were withheld.  Once we started high school and my parents gave us pocket money, they no longer bought sweets for us.  It was up to us to choose how to spend our pocket money.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

Mum used to take us all the way to a dental practice in a seaside town about forty minutes drive away from where we lived.  There were lots of closer dental practices. However, Mum took us to the dental practice where she had registered atBoiled Sweets the age of twenty-one when she had a little bedsit and had just left her nurse training course.  (That is another story I will tell you about one day.) Most of my family still travel there after all these years. 

When we were little ones the dentist gave my Mumma a right telling off!  Why?  Well, he blamed my mum for the state of our teeth.  Mum had been training us to brush our teeth sure enough  However, she would buy us boiled sweets.  The dentist could somehow tell that we had been walking round with a boiled sweet slowly dissolving within our  little mouths.  It was dissolving out enamel and apparently ruining our teeth.  The dentist gave my Mumma such a lecture that she wept.  I was only around six at the time.  I would never see, let alone taste another boiled sweet,  From then on, every time we had sweets they were soft.  Phew!  That meant chocolate mice were safe, chocolate sprinkles were safe, even my favourite chocolate bars were safe!  However, Mum would insist that we drank a glass of water after we had any sweets.  After that trip to the dentist, Mumma was much more zealous with supervising our dental health.  We were introduced to floss, mouthwash and we had the snazziest toothbrushes.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

I remember one of my very first school trips…you know…it is such a long story, I think I should save it for another post…let me tell you now though, I ended up with a huge shopping bag full of sweets to take with me onto the school bus that was going to take us to our destination.  You know, my Mumma had to reason with me, until I finally accepted that I should tell the teacher that they were for everyone to share.  I thought they were all for me.  Before Mumma won me over, I was thinking of how jealous my school friends would be when they saw how many sweeties I had.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

Aaaaah…now I come to the main issue that played on my mind for many years.  It was not my imagination.  Milly truly was given more sweets than Mandy and me.  We both saw it and we both felt keenly the injustice of the situation.

Finally my parents explained this mystery that had long provoked Mandy and I.  Why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

If Mandy or I were given a bag of sweets, we would gladly start munching them and convey our thanks to our parents or whoever else had kindly rewarded us with a treat. Mum or Dad would often say, “Why don’t you share your sweets with your friends, or with your brother and sisters?”  Mandy and I would object.  Under duress, we would finally be moved to offer our last few sweets to others.

But Milly was different.  Milly was special.  I mean that with every hint of respect for my gorgeous littlest sister.  If Milly was given a bag of sweets…this is what she would do. After expressing her thanks, she would open the bag and peer in gleefully.  Milly had the same joyful appreciation on receipt of a sweet treat as Mandy and I did.  However, Milly would look into her bag and immediately offer one to whoever had given her the sweets.  She would then rush around to everyone else present offering them one of the treasures from her goodie bag.  After everyone else had a chance to take a sweetie, Milly would dive into the bag and take one for herself.

Sharing sweets

When I finally comprehended why Milly was given more sweets than Mandy and I…my heart swelled with love and pride for my littlest sister.  My parents told us that noone had ever told Milly that she should offer sweets to others before she helped herself to them. That came all from Milly’s own little heart.  The best way to make sure that everyone had a treat was just to give the bag of sweets straight to Milly, who would  of her own initiative run around and make sure everyone had something and then finally take one for herself.

Surely you agree…Millly…is gorgeous!!!  Utterly gorgeous!  I am so proud of her.  I clap my hands and congratulate my parents who noticed this beautiful trait that Milly had manifested.  They made sure Milly was always given more sweets than Mandy and me.

Retrospective

https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/i-challenge-you-to-32/

First Day Of School

This another post from the archives. I just could not resist thinking back to my school days again!

Yesterday was the first day of school for one of our household… there was so much excitement.  For the little one here it seems as if it was a great success.  But of course, it led to all of us who have survived the school experience to reminisce over our own first day of school.

First Day Of School

I remember that when my mum dropped me off that morning her hair was long as it seemed to have always been. When she came to collect me it was short, above her shoulders, a little bob.  I was balling my eyes out insisting that she was not my mother, that I didn’t know who she was.  Poor mum!  She must have wondered what to do when I claimed I had never seen her before.

I was alarmed by the suggestion I had to attend school. Mum clearly needed my help at home with my two younger sisters. I enjoyed our walks to the library to read and go shopping.  Everyone seemed to know my mum so we chatted with many town folk.  We had a very contented routine. Leaving Mum to go off to be with other children was not my idea of a happy state of affairs.  Mum and Dad could see how perplexed I was about this arrangement. One of them put the idea into my head that the headmaster had made a special request to have me at the school so that I could teach the other children how to behave.  When I asked questions about this, the reply was “you could teach the other children to use a knife and fork” (the correct use of cutlery had been a major challenge for me, but I had recently conquered it and was very proud indeed of my newfound skills).

So at my first lunch-time, I sat down and started with my task.  I announced “children, listen to me, I am going to teach you about knifes and fooooorkes” (I was terrified of mispronouncing the work “fork” so took pains to make sure I lengthened the vowels)….the other kids were staring at me. The girl opposite me, whose name I remember very well (and years later we played netball together), took the flask cup of orange juice she held and threw it at me.  At that moment, I realized I had my work cut out!

Person, Human, Child, Girl, BlondI had unanswered questions about why I was being sent to school and great difficulties understanding the whole concept of leaving my parents and being with a group of odd children who did not seem to be as switched on as I was. I saw no value in being forced to spend time there and I found it quite tiring at times. When it was all getting too much, I would go and hide in the “wendy house” and burrow underneath the pile of playclothes. There I would often fall fast asleep until the end of the school day.

I had already decided before ever starting school that I wanted to grow up to be just like Maria Von Trapp. I was under the impression from the books I had grown up reading that we would all grow up to be farmers and farmer’s wives. School screwed up that notion. Nothing made sense anymore. I concluded within myself that some of my teachers were very much mistaken about life and the world. I began to take what they told me with rather a large “pinch of salt”.

I didn’t like school.  But I was told that if I didn’t go to school my parents would be put into prison.  This I found very distressing indeed.  I felt as if it was a bit of a nightmare situation.  I contented myself with the thought that I had already worked out how to get to the swimming baths if my mum and dad were ever killed in a car accident (I know this thought sounds very morbid for a little one only it had happened to some good friends, so I was very practical and realistic that anything might happen to us).  So I resolved to keep going to school until I could no longer cope. After giving it an effort, then if mum and dad had to go to prison, at least I knew how to get down to the swimming baths on my own.  (Never crossed my mind that me and my sisters wouldn’t be allowed to stay at home on our own and who would pay for my swimming lessons?)

girl dressThe only way I settled in my mind this separation from home was feeling I had an important role to fill.  I was always tidying up after the other children, helping them put their coats on, putting straws in milk cartons at “milk time”.  I also had issues about the uniform – well it was grey…as some school uniforms are.  I said to Mrs Richardson, “Yes, I know all the other children have to wear a uniform, but what I don’t understand is, why do I have to wear a uniform?”  I didn’t see myself as one of them but that I was being forced against my will to be at this school.  Well….whatever I said to the teachers, I was allowed to attend school throughout the infants and wear my choice of clothes rather than the uniform.  What did I wear?  I had so many pretty little girl dresses that had been given to my mum by my dad’s customers and friends.  Quite an impressive wardrobe.  I remember some of them vividly.  Although I also loved wearing shorts and T-shirts at home, I was too proud to wear shorts for school, I did want to be smart.  It sometimes strikes me as odd that although I was such a tomboy in so many ways – I always loved my dresses.

What would the other kids think of me?  Bright blonde hair.  Pretty dresses in white, pale pink, peach, lemon, baby blue (I had some that were darker coloured but I preferred to use them as play clothes as when I was climbing trees or playing football I would get quite muddy).  I was helping every child I cross paths with, breaking up fights, sharing my crisps with everyone, doing all these jobs to help the teachers and tidying up. The other children became very curious about me. I remember sobbing to my parents that the children were bullying me. When my parents looked into it this is what was happening.

AngelThe children were following me home and asking me if I was an angel.  I was very upset by this. Why? In our classroom, there was a golden book about the Bible the teacher used to read stories from at story time.  The angels in the pictures were all men with beards and big muscles and huge wings. I thought the kids were being unkind calling me an angel. Mum and Dad tried to explain that some of the children were just fascinated by me. 

They were not trying to be unkind at all.  Later I realized those poor children thought angels were like little fairies.  I had been reading books like “The Famous Five”, “The Secret Seven” and “Mallory Towers” before I even started school – they didn’t have little fairy angels in them, but I discovered that some children’s books had misleading pictures of cute little angels, which clearly jarred with my enlightened understanding of angels resembling big burly men with bulging muscle. Before I understood that the other children were simply misled, I found it an insult they were asking me if I was an angel.

Sometimes I was overwhelmed with the challenges of spending time with these odd children. I am one of seven siblings – the fifth in order. Number four – my brother is eight years older and number three, one of my sisters is nine years older than I am. Due to the age gap, my parents played with us more than my older siblings did. My Dad had unwittingly treated us like little boys. Under his influence we were climbing trees and running around playing sports.  He had not taught us girly games.  As a family, we frequently went to the park or the beach, and at least three times a week to the to the swimming baths. At weekends we often had picnics with other families, most of whom had sons. I remember huge games of hide & seek in the woods and building dens with them. So I had not had many contacts with girls of my own age. At last here was a reason to be at school! GIRLS.

Daisy Chains.pngI learnt so much from them about what girls where supposed to be interested in. The girls taught me two things I never had experienced elsewhere. They all seemed to know how to do handstands. This was truly wonderful to me. I threw myself into copying them and they tried to help me. Nonetheless, it took me a long time to master the art of handstands.  They also knew how to make daisy chains.  Can you comprehend how marvellous it was to me to be able to produce something as beautiful as a daisy chain? You wouldn’t believe how much patience and effort I put in to trying to make them. I went missing from the school several times, and rather than being asleep in the wendy house, I was frequently found on the cricket pitch behind the school – which was not allowed. I thought that rule must apply to the odd little children who seemed rather backward. I often played on that cricket pitch with my Dad and siblings, so I felt comfortable up there. I know why I went there. The grass around the cricket pitch was a little longer than our school field and the daisies had longer stalks. The longer the stalks the more chance I had of being able to make a decent daisy chain. As I look back at primary school, I have to confess one of the deepest gifts it imparted to me was learning things like how to make daisy chains from other children. Everything else I was content to learn from books, books my parents bought for me. I was discontent at hearing the teachers express their own opinions.

Girl, Cute, Child, Flower, Blond, NatureThen there was the wetting myself issue.  It happened twice that I can remember.  It happens to a lot of children, doesn’t it? But it was the way it happened to me that seems memorable. Both times it was a fear thing.  On one occasion, a very annoyed teacher (I have no idea why she was upset that morning) was marching everyone through the school and she turned around and said to me to stand still and not to leave that spot until she returned.  Now, she just happened to have parked me right next to the large container containing sand and toys – so I occasionally let my fingers play with the sand. But out of obedient fear….I did not move from that spot. I have no idea why she left me there for so long (I think it was the other children that were in trouble), but by the time she came back to find me in the same spot, I was standing in a yellow puddle. She asked why I had not gone to the toilet and all I could do was repeat her words to me. Off to the headmaster’s secretary for some replacement underwear from the “lost and found” box.

The second time I remember it happening, I was in Mrs Russell’s class. She could blow the whistle so loudly and sometimes when she was cross her voice would screech and it made me think of that whistle.  Well one day, lots of children kept asking to go to use the toilet.  Her patience wore thin and she said that the next child to ask to go to the toilet would be in trouble. A few minutes later…I was sitting working at my table and another little girl pointed at me and the yellow puddle under my chair.  When the teacher asked why I had not asked if I could go to the toilet all I could do was to repeat her words. Off to the headmaster’s secretary for some replacement underwear from the “lost and found” box.

swimmingAaaaah schooooooool!!!!  Life at school became a bit more interesting when I was in the first year of juniors (I think that would be Year 3) and was asked to leave the rest of my class one morning each week and join the children in their last year of primary school (Year 6) who had weekly swimming lessons. My sisters and I were part of our town swimming club so the headmaster wanted to see whether I could keep up with the children three years older than me. Sure enough they entered me into a couple of the races in the county swimming gala. I was swimming for the school competitively with kids who were three years older than me  Our school won so many races in the county swimming gala and I remember winning mine also. The headmaster was delighted with me. We had a number of awards on display in the school lobby after that swimming gala. Ours was a small school, so it seemed quite a victory that we had won so much.

Fire, Explosion, Danger, Hot, FlameDuring the six-week school holiday between Year 3 and Year 4, I had been allowed to borrow a book from the school library.  It was Johanna Spyri’s “Heidi“. The headmaster had told me that I must be careful not to lose it, I must bring it back at the end of the holidays or else I would not be allowed to borrow a book again. Can you imagine how devastated I was when my Dad broke the news one morning that our school (which by now I had grown to love) had been burnt down by three boys? Two were fourteen years of age and the other had just finished year 6 – he must have been eleven.  I still remember his name, but not the other two boys.

So for the next three years, while they were re-building our school (which I never had a chance to be at but my younger sisters did) we were picked up by double-decker buses and taken to a high school on the other side of town where they had some spare classrooms. They were well known for their brilliant sports facilities, especially the huge cross-country track they had.  It was a centre of lots of sporting tournaments. Later, when my parents had managed to get me into a school for clever clogs in a neighbouring town – we often came back here to play sports competitions.  It was always nice to be back at a school that was so familiar to us.

Well….I feel my waffling is becoming rather boring now….I think there is a definite limit to how much you can cope with another person reminiscing hey!!!  But I would love to know what you can remember of schooling life.

From The Eyes Of A Child

Children, Togo, Group, People, BlackSo this week, I started to think that it would be better if we were more like children. Children who trust those who are responsible to care for them. I am not sure why adults complicate things so much, bickering and questioning and grumbling.

I also had a wonderful reminder of how special people are. He sent me some videos from the area of Africa he is in at the moment. Jack is washing himself and his clothes with a bucket of water. But wow – the singing and the joy from the people he is working with, training them in skills that will benefit them and their communities for many years to come. When you watch videos of beautiful smiles they become infectious. I am so glad Jack is filming so much.

Something else that is cheering me up, is working on my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post this week. The questions are of course from our fabulous Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Take a look at her original post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/04/13/share-your-world-4-13-2020/

QUESTIONS:

What do you do to get rid of stress? 

ewrhgiInstant fix for me is singing. I always knew that singing was good for me, but recently even more so. I especially find songs that are about gratitude help me. There is a line in a song that my friend’s daughter sings over and over that I often have in my mind often as I walk to work (not knowing what the day at work will involve). The line is “when each morning I wake, I remember to take, just a moment to thank Him for this day“.

I find the media would make me drown in stress if I did not severely limit how much I watch. I usually try to just watch some of the BBC Breakfast show because I think they do a great job of keeping their show balanced. But sometimes it means I am leaving my little nest with my heart gripped with worry. So…I start to sing. I love the effect it has on me. I can feel my face start to smile and my heart feels as if it is being healed of all soreness. By the time I reach work I am ready to face absolutely anything that comes.

Kids, Children, Face, Smile, ChildhoodI should explain, my friend is from mainland China. She is teaching her little children to know their Creator. The song was something I saw them singing and so I wanted to know if it is available in English. It turns out it is an international hit.

I was amazed to find an incredibly long list of languages it has been recorded in…including Welsh! I showed it to a Gujarati speaking colleague who started weeping because she thought it was so beautiful. I have to admit, I have been moved by some of the children’s songs I have discovered, teaching children about what life is really made of.

I also sent it to Jack, who was able to play it in one of the more than fourteen languages spoken in the area he is working. He played it to the children and a day later he send me a video of them singing it. Wonderful!

A long time before the current challenge the world is facing, I have learnt to accept that the injustices and suffering in the world are temporary. Death is temporary. They will be undone. Death will be undone. I often dwell on the joys ahead. The joys ahead help me cope with the stress of human independence now. I can’t wait to see a happy healthy human race, who live without fear of violence, disease or any other threat.

In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?

ughjdsafI don’t believe that myself. But it has fascinated me to visit museums in different parts of the world and to see ancient burial sites unearthed revealing the belief that you could take things with you into an afterlife. In Sweden we saw evidence that people were buried with family, servants, horses and all manner of luxuries and practical objects like tools.

Our Creator has promised to restore life, not possessions, to those who have died. But there is a silly part of me that imagines being laid to rest with my private journals next to me. The only reason is to keep them private. All my silliness, all my worries and my dreams and wishes, laid to rest until the moment I wake up again.

I realized long ago that every thought, every feeling, every tear, every smile was observed by someone who loved me more than anyone else did. I am not afraid because I am sure that if I was to be in the grave for a while, I would be kept very safely within the memory of my Creator until it is time to wake me up.

I have always just hoped that if I went to sleep before the end of the corrupt system, my loved ones would know not to worry about me. I had one major near death experience the night I was attacked. I remember thinking how important it is to make sure the people in your life know how special they are to you. Let them know how very wonderful they are to you. Don’t leave them with any guilt or regrets. Confirm your love so that they remember you with great fondness.

What’s the opposite of a koala?

I don’t know. A pike perhaps?

Do I have to explain my answer?

Koalas live in Australia. So I was thinking of a creature that lives here in the UK. They may have pike in Australia – I should Google this really.

Koalas live in trees. I know because I saw them myself – so gorgeous! Pike live in the water.

Koalas are incredibly cute. Pike – not so cute, in fact they can be pretty aggressive.

Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves I believe. Pike eat mostly other fish, smaller fish or large fish and sometimes even other pike.

What’s the creepiest tech out there?  

uihvhI am not very ofay with tech to be honest. But some people have some kind of app that allows them to track someone else’s phone. I can see some advantages of this. Tracking your teenager might seem a sensible idea. But in other circumstances, I find it a bit creepy.

Aren’t there some weird apps that alter your appearance? I think some of them make you into a cat, others age you. I don’t know…the more I think of these weird apps, the more glad I feel that I don’t have a smartphone.

It does concern me that people can type your name into a Google search engine and find things about you. That’s the reason why I choose to maintain my anonymity. I don’t know what else I can do to eradicate the unkindness that spread years ago when Jack and I first came into contact and then when he moved into our apartment. He does not seem to think it is possible to eradicate all of the unkindness either. He has always said that people move on to someone else, they get bored, they forget what it was that interested them and who it was they were being unkind about.

I guess the point is…all these technical applications are tools, but when they fall into the hands of a creepy person, they become creepy and sinister.

GRATITUDE IS AN ATTITUDE

What method are you using to find your smile right now? 

esuthrdtFinding my smile? I look in the mirror and there it is! My whole face is a big smile because I have been smiling for a lifetime. Maybe it’s the deep joy and excitement about the future that no challenge can eradicate.

People. People make me smile. The people I love, my family and friends who are all being wonderful – and I mean by that, they are all being obedient and trusting of the direction for their protection. I sometimes wonder why so many people question so much that is done for their good. Well, it is either because they do not trust those making decisions or they think they are not being dignified with full accounts as to the entire decision making process. Neither are my family going to extremes. They are rational and content with what they have. But like beautiful children they are doing exactly what they were asked to do over a month ago – they are staying at home. The younger ones shop for the older ones. Family life (amongst my roughly 200 member family) is taking place over the phone and over the internet.

Hat, Fashion, Style, Happy, Man, HipsterThe guy who keeps on turning up at our practice (he has always been prone to anxiety and is a frequent visitor to our practice, but I am worried that his anxiety is climbing to new levels) who is covered in PPE beyond belief. I am not sure whether he is preparing to go deep sea diving or moon walking…but his PPE is a reflection of how scared he is of catching the …you know. Bless him – I always make sure I have a little chat with him. He has a place in my heart now – the little lamb!

I smile when I see other people smiling. I love to see people happy and healthy. It reminds me of what all this is about. We want people to be happy and healthy and safe. As another of the songs my friend’s daughter has shown me confirms – we are a world wide family and the more we love each other, the happier it will help us to be. We – the human family – we are beyond borders. Soon the whole earth will be united under one government that makes decisions that will help the earth and all of it’s inhabitants thrive!

In Search Of The Best Daisies

When I saw Teresa’s writing prompt today, I wondered what realistic fiction meant. I think my fictional stories do perhaps veer towards realistic settings. I am not great with dragons and unicrons and the like.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore your creative but not fantastical side and write your best Realistic Fiction tale and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/daily-writing-prompt-27/

This little realistic fictional account is very much inspired by the photo Teresa gave us.

Girls, Children, Kids, Friends, Young

Olivia and Saffron walked together towards the edge of the hill, for it was at the edge of the hill where all the best daisies grew. They had no idea of the distress their anxious parents would experience, when it was noticed that the two little girls were missing.

It was Diana, who first raised the alarm that her daughter Olivia was missing. After the service was over, Diana chatted to other members of the congregation, catching up on the friendly gossip that was passed on freely by other church-goers. It must have been a good half an hour before she was ready to head home to feed her small tribe of children.

saffronsThere was no sight of her youngest daughter anywhere. None of Olivia’s older siblings could remember seeing her since the end of the service. While rushing around asking their friends, she realized that Dwayne and Felicia were equally anxious about their young daughter Saffron. They said they had not seen Saffron since she had gone to find Olivia after the service.

The pastor was alerted to the disappearance of the two young girls and quickly appealed for an organized search. Everyone who was lingering at the church was eager to help. Parties of parents spread out in all directions calling out the names of the two missing children. “Olivia! Saffron!” was heard echoing around the streets and parkland near to the church.

It was a whole hour before a young man named Alec came running back to tell the pastor that the two little girls had been found, and that they were being walked back to the church by his wife.

Daisy, Flower, Blossom, Bloom, WhiteDiana, Dwayne and Felicia were relieved to see the little girls. Diana knelt down to embrace her beloved little girl. With tears streaming from her eyes, she cried, “I was so worried about you Olivia. Where did you go honey?”

Olivia seemed surprised that her mother was making such a fuss, “Saffron took me to find the best daisies. We wanted to make daisy chains.” She proudly held up her floral creation, patiently strung together during the last hour.

“Oh honey, you mustn’t wander away like that without asking me. It’s too dangerous.”

Olivia’s face expressed her confusion, “It’s just daisies momma!” she objected.

Diana looked at Dwayne and Felicia. The three parent spoke together quietly. After discussing what had happened, they sat down with Olivia and Saffron. Dwayne began to try to explain their concerns.

Child, Girl, Little, Young, Small, Play“Girls, it’s so lovely that you wanted to make daisy chains. But you must never wander away to where we can’t see you. We don’t want to lose you. Do you understand?”

“But poppa, we wasn’t lost!” declared Saffron, “We knew the way back here.”

Felicia tried to reason with Saffron and her little friend Olivia, “We just want you to be safe. We want you to be happy playing together and to enjoy the beautiful flowers, but we have to be realistic. There are some people out there who do bad things. It’s our responsibility to keep you safe. So when you want to go somewhere, you must ask one of your parents. You are too little to wander off alone.”

Olivia and Saffron sat with their faces blank. Olivia whimpered “But momma, you were talking to Aunty. I didn’t want to be rude when you was talking.”

Diana appealed to her daughter, “Honey, it’s really important that you remember this. It isn’t safe for you to wander away without me knowing. Do you understand why?”

Olivia shook her head. Saffron shrugged her shoulders, “We wasn’t doing nothing dangerous.”

stealFelicia responded, “Oh sweetie, I don’t want you to be afraid either. But you need to understand why we are so worried about you. There are some people who try to steal children. We want to keep you safe. So we need to know where you are. We need to make sure that nobody harms you.”

Saffron suddenly sat up, “Like they said at school. Some people might want to show us a puppy or give us sweets. We have to shout no! And scream really loud.”

“That’s right Saffron. It’s our job to look after you and keep you safe. We don’t want anyone to trick you or take you away from us. So from now on, we want you to promise that you won’t wander off without us. Always ask first before you go somewhere else to play,” requested her father.

The two little girls were holding hands as they skipped along towards the car park.

isa“It’s really sad when you think about it. They are so innocent and full of dreams. It’s such a shame we have to warn them of all the dangers out there,” lamented Diana.

Dwayne sighed, “We have to be realistic though. These are dark times. There are some very sick and twisted people out there.”

Felicia was thinking about everything that had happened, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring our children up in a world where there is no one who would commit such evil acts! I would love for the girls to grow up without fear. Like that passage the pastor read from today:

The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, and with the young goat the leopard will lie down. The calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together. And a little boy will lead them.

The cow and the bear will feed together, and their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull.

The nursing child will play over the lair of a cobra, And a weaned child will put his hand over the den of a poisonous snake.

They will not cause any harm or any ruin in all my holy mountain, because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of our Creator as the waters cover the sea.”

The Not So Famous Five

three childrenThere are days when the best company are little children. There are days when they somehow sense you need them to go easy on you.

For some reason I have always found it very easy to have a conversation with a child, a real conversation I mean. Some of my friends laugh at me because their kids suddenly grow up and start chatting like an adult would when conversing with me.

I was going to be spending the day with a friend today whose little ones go to primary school and nursery. But they were all ill last night, so when I arrived Claire apologised that she had the three little ones. She was worried in case it might upset me. Nope, I wasn’t upset. I did wonder if I had the energy for the little ones.

But they were great all three of them. They were so well behaved. They lolloped around, as did I. The five of us, their mum and the three little ones and I read some stories, played a card game, made some cup cakes, and then we watched The Postman Pat movie – I had no idea there was a Postman Pat movie until today.

It was a very pleasant day, and it was not tiring. I think Claire must have told her children I was not very well. Because they kept patting me and saying they hoped I would feel better soon. So sweet! Little Olivia who normally goes to nursery, said to me, “the best days to be sick are rainy days. We all picked a good day to be sick.”

It was a lovely day and I am glad I shared it with Claire and her three little ones. We got on famously well!