"Do we go to Father Christmas' church - it says St Nicholas!", says my excited six year old. What a paradox we give to children at Christmas - Santa - the myth of an old man you grow out of - versus Jesus - the truth of a baby the church says to believe in. … Continue reading Father Christmas – a festive parable?
Category: The joy of childhood
Poems and reflections on the best things about being small.
‘Prickle’ – the story of a HedgeHug
"Prickle by name, Prickle by nature", his mother sighed, as yet another perceived slight from his friend Bilberry caused the little hedgehug to stomp off into the bushes. Her friend nodded sympathetically and she went on. "It worries me that he will end up just a heap of prickles. I know he's terrified of being … Continue reading ‘Prickle’ – the story of a HedgeHug
Into the Woods! Church toddler groups and forest school
Following a fad, or reinforcing foundations? Toddler groups bring more families into contact with churches than almost anything else, except perhaps food banks. Beyond grasping gratefully at the offer, does anyone wonder why churches provide them? Are they an outlet for nostalgic public-spirited housewives? Does the church think that coffee, toys and a chat will … Continue reading Into the Woods! Church toddler groups and forest school
New term. New opportunities and challenges. New relationships to navigate. I think one of life's epiphanies is realising that that how people treat you is much more about what's going on for them than anything particularly to do with you. But as a school child it's hard to hold onto that. This story has no … Continue reading The Bimble-berries
Does living simply mean simply being mean?
"They can't just eat sawdust!" wailed one family member. "But it's Christmas, - they like getting lots of presents!" protested another when I baulked at the volume under the tree. It's one thing to change your own consumption habits. I can now look at reduced packets of the specialist cakes and biscuits I am restricted … Continue reading Does living simply mean simply being mean?
Why I am not a fan of your Fan Club
My 7 year old is passionate about a particular make of toy animal families. She adores everything that goes with them and can spend hours absorbed in play. Last year she joined their Fan Club; a decision I was happy to support. However, six months in, I wrote this letter to the company expressing disappointment … Continue reading Why I am not a fan of your Fan Club
“Chasing after the wind”
Another post that came from a bedtime story. It is probably also on the line between profound truth and trite cliche. The image is in no way original - it appeared centuries ago in Psalm 1. "A little tree grew on the edge of a copse on a hillside. From where it stood it could … Continue reading “Chasing after the wind”
A Parkrun for Wildlife?
Sir David Attenborough made headlines at Davos last month with his interview with the Duke of Cambridge. His pitch was clear. The ecological problems we face spring from our disconnect from the natural world. "There has never been a time that more people are out of touch with the natural world than as now", he … Continue reading A Parkrun for Wildlife?
The Battle for the Brownie
I watched Incredibles 2 over the holidays. What a great film! And how amazing that they could so perfectly capture my toddler's tantrums without ever having met her! My children might not have super powers but they certainly have different identities. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground, or average day. They are either … Continue reading The Battle for the Brownie
Recently, I have felt like a beanbag for my children. The shape I am in doesn't matter; what matters is that I can make them comfortable and provide support, regardless of how angular their elbows or how heavily they are feeling the weight of the world. You don't think about beanbags. You just need them … Continue reading Beanbag Parenting