Friday, November 29, 2013

Instilling a spirit of giving

This is something that I struggle with year on year, trying to instill a spirit of giving in my children at Christmas time. Don't get me wrong here, I feel we should be doing this throughout the year, hence the fact that Mr Beehive and I do things as many others do such as sponsor a child and give to our favourite charities and we try to encourage the children to participate in charity events or collections.

In previous years the children have made shoeboxes of gifts to donate to other children who have less, but I'm not always happy with some of these bigger organisations' underlying messages that seem to be a part of the receiver getting the gift.

We have, in the past, made boxes of needed clothes up to send to families who have less, we did this through an American forum called Mothering, for several years. However, we can't find anything similar in this country.

We've made secret gifts that we've mailed to someone we know has had a rough year and sent them anonymously.

We've drawn and framed pictures or given cookies to residential homes and donated toys to other appeals.

We have also used places like the Oxfam gifts whereupon we've bought chickens for a family as a gift for friends or we've knitted hats for newborn babies in Malawi.

But I'm sure that there is much giving that can be done at home throughout the year and not just at Christmas time. One of the ideas that tickles my fancy at the moment is buying the coffee for the person behind me in the queue and then just leaving.

So the big question I have to ask is, am I doing this in order to instill a spirit of giving in myself and my children or am I doing this because if feels nice for me to walk away knowing I've done this? Oh I feel a Phoebe-quandry coming on but you'd better hurry up because for the next few weeks I may be that person in front of you in the Costa queue ;-)

Perhaps though, if we all just chose one or two nice things to do for the person in front or behind us, that we don't normally do, perhaps help them load their shopping in the car, let them go in front of us in the queue if we have more time than them, sweep the leaves of our elderly neighbours' lawn whilst we're out there doing our own? Offer to put our neighbours' bins out or put them back in once the dustcart has gone? I'm sure there are endless ideas.

Please share your giving.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Good things come to those who try hard

It's been a pretty miserable week for the eldest Beehive. Following a rough night on Monday we went to the doctor on Tuesday only to be sent up to the children's ward at the hospital. We didn't leave again (or rather he didn't) until Thursday afternoon.

At first the doc thought he may have a pneumothorax, so wanted a chest x-ray, however, the docs on the ward decided that they'd reassess after putting him on a nebuliser.

Long story,  cut short, he eventually got his sats above 94% and kept them there and, by Thursday was able to go four hours between inhaler sessions and now we have our boy back home. He's on some preventative meds now and still has his inhaler, but, with luck, we hope we can try to keep him well.

He's doing so much better now.

However, he has also learned that patience and doing your best will pay off in the end having received a wonderful opportunity this morning.

About three months ago he went on a selection weekend with the scouts for a one in a lifetime chance to go to Japan for a Jamboree in 2015.
Despite being riddled with eczema and again, being in hospital for treatment, he decided he had to go and push through it.
Unfortunately he wasn't selected, but he did really well, missing out by only a few points. He had to go through some grieving, disappointment, a sense of failure and all the other emotions that come with really wanting something but it being out of your grasp and, because my child is normal, the green eyed monster because two other members of your troupe were selected and you weren't, but still, a maturity lesson.

This morning he was invited by one of the original selection committee to take a place on the Icelandic Jamboree next year. We are all so excited for him.
He has a year of hard work ahead of him as he has to fund raise a considerable amount of the travel but it's going to be a fantastic opportunity with lots of other learning curves!

The younger boy beehive has also done fantastically well this week. He yet again secured a silver medal in his age group at the APTI national tae qwon do competition and then three days later managed to get his blue belt with a grade A pass.

The littlest is singing her heart out with a solo spot coming up in her Stagecoach cabaret and she's entering the local young musician in her age group this year.

All I can do is sit back and watch them with my heart exploding with pride. We are just loaned our children to help them on their journeys and I am reminded this more than ever, not only when they disagree with me or each other, or make completely different choices to me, but when I see them try and succeed, or try and not succeed in things that mean so much to them.