Family life: Before my husband and I had children, we had an idea of what it would look like. To a large extent, our ideals were a combination of many of the positives from our childhood experiences married with our own personal values.
Many of the things I hoped for have come to be but more than that: it’s surprising to see how family life is its own entity, and has grown around me, and in many ways in spite of me and my notorious long term planning addiction.
Let me back track a bit; I need to talk pets for minute. I didn’t want a pet for our family. It’s not that I don’t like pets (I do!) but our family moves a lot so we are limited in what sort of pets we can have. Plus, I figure: I’m flat out trying to look after 4 kids so don’t need another thing to look after! Right?
Well, my daughter desperately wanted a bird for her 7th birthday. I noticed my daughter’s desire for a bird was matched with a general interest in birds. You know when you can tell when your child is really interested in something, rather than it being a passing phase? (Probably a bit like how astronomy was to my husband when he was a child.) This interest in birds was not something we particularly fostered or encouraged, it just happened.
Still, I felt reluctant to have a pet bird, but after thinking about it, and acknowledging my daughter’s responsible behaviour when it comes to looking after her property, my husband and I decided to give her a cockatiel pet bird. Here he is:
Do you know what she named it? Aprie Apricot Tizzy-Wing Burstow. We take names very seriously in this house! HA! We call him Tizzy for short. Along with Tizzy, we gave our daughter the Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by Ken Simpson and Nicolas Day to encourage her general interest in birds.
Tizzy has been in our lives for over a year now and we all LOVE him! Not only do we love having him as part of our family, my daughter’s passion for birds is developing, and rubbing off on the rest of us!
That’s a bit of history, now let me tell you about this weekend. We went for a spontaneous camping trip to Jimna, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands. It’s a gorgeous spot!
It’s the first time we have been camping for only a weekend. It was a bit of work but certainly worthwhile; I feel like we have been gone for much longer than just one night.
My daughter, as usual, packed her bird book with her other things. I didn’t remind, or ask her to; she often brings it with her when we are out and about.
I love wildlife in general but I wouldn’t say I’m particularly interested in birds so it’s facinating to see my daughter develop her own interests. It’s also interesting to see our entire family embrace my daughter’s love for birds. Birds are now something we all look for, identify and talk about.
Jimna is full of wild life, including many varieties of birds. Below are two of the varities I captured on film.
On the drive home from our camping trip, I was thinking about birds, and how our famiy have turned into birdwatchers of sorts. I turned and looked at my husband behind the wheel and said, “It’s amazing how our family has evolved, isn’t it?”
It has done just that: evolved, changed, moved, grown.
I didn’t expect us to be the spontaneous type, but here we are, just home from a weekend camping trip we decided on just a few days ago.
I didn’t expect us to love the outdoors quite so much, but it’s where we all are the most relaxed.
I didn’t expect us to be quite so adventurous as a family but our kids embrace everything we do and our recent road trip confirmed to us how much we love travel and experiences.
I didn’t expect that I would be so confident to do many thing on my own with the kids, but necessity has forced me to be this way.
I certainly did not expect us to be the family who quotes star wars in conversations.
I think it’s important to have goals and values for family life, but I have also seen the value of being open to whatever may be. None of the above was planned, it just happened from parenting in the moments.
Family is its own entity, apart from us as individuals, and it grows and changes as we all contribute parts of ourselves to the mix. I see this as a working example of being anchored by the big picture but living in the moments.
My family hasn’t turned out like I thought it would, it’s better. It’s better because nothing I could ever have fabricated or planned could be more valuable than watching my kids grow and impart their own ideas into the beautiful thing that is our family. It’s not perfect, but it’s wonderful.
Family: I’ve learned that it’s alive and I have to let it grow at will in the confines of our family values.
Has family life for you turned out a little differently than you expected?
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