Accused…

WP_20150731_13_31_45_Pro.jpgSome beautiful varieties of Obsidian, all are truth-enhancing  and protective… A black Obsidian sphere and wand, Snowflake Obsidian palmstone and ring and a Mahogany Obsidian tumblestone…

I have two sons, one is now 17 and the other is 21, so at times there are four years between them, or sometimes five. There are ten years between my sister and I – she’s the older, and I know from personal experience that the older sibling generally gets the blame…


“W hy are Samantha’s gerbils in the fish tank?!”

Well, she wanted to know whether they could swim…” my sister replied, afire with the spirit of genuine enquiry.

But you’re older than her and should know better!”

The expected recriminations followed; the gerbils were dried and returned to their cage, none the worse for their impromptu swimming gala…

When my younger son was born, I made sure my oldest still knew how important he was to me and how loved, and how he would grow to love having a new baby brother, someone who would look up to him… and so on. The inevitable sibling squabbles ensued…

They get along well together now, but one particular incident from their childhood has stayed in my memory. My partner’s mother had given them both £5.00, a lot of money to a nine and four year old.

MAKE SURE YOU PUT YOUR MONEY SOMEWHERE SAFE” their father instructed.

My boys went to their bedrooms to play, and no more was said about their money until the following day. It was the Easter holidays so we’d planned to go out.

FETCH YOUR MONEY, YOU MIGHT SEE SOMETHING YOU LIKE.” said their father.

My oldest son went to get his, and duly returned. My youngest did not come back downstairs. He couldn’t find his five pound note. Of course, we asked him where he had put it and he said, a little hesitantly:

On the windowsill.”

So where is it now?” the next logical question.

I had the window open, and I think it must have flown away out of the window…”

I was somewhat flummoxed by this, but quite prepared to believe it – he had no reason to lie, after all. My partner, however, responded differently – and unexpectedly. He summoned my eldest son:

WHY HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR BROTHER’S MONEY?”

My oldest, flustered by this, stammered

But I haven’t! I wouldn’t take his money! I’ve got my own!”

COME ON, OWN UP, OR WE’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND YOU’LL BE PUNISHED FOR BEING A LIAR AND A THIEF!”

But I didn’t take it, really!”

My youngest was in tears, insisting that it had flown away and his brother had nothing to do with it.

RIGHT, WELL IT SHOULD BE OUTSIDE THEN.” We all had to troop outside and search the area below the bedroom window.

Eventually, I lost my temper, and said:

No, he’s not lying. His brother’s obviously lost it, it’s no-one’s fault.”

Suffice it to say that day we didn’t go out. I felt awful. Sorry for my youngest who had lost his money, and sorry for my oldest who stood accused. I didn’t doubt my children. Not for a minute. I have never stolen anything in my whole life – not even when I was homeless and those were desperate times – and I’d hoped that I had managed to instill the same morals in my own children. Had I failed? No. I pushed that tiny pin prick of doubt aside completely. If my youngest son had said the five pound not had flown through the window, that was exactly what had happened. My oldest had nothing to do with its disappearance as he stated, over and over again. I stood by my children and the atmosphere between myself and partner was, shall we say, a little strained. He’s a very… black and white person. There are no shades of grey and things are either wrong or right, except when it comes to our cats, the beloved ‘Girls.’

His unforgiving upset me. My oldest son remained steadfast in his honesty. My youngest son stuck to his account of events.

IMG_7271 (3).JPGLapis Lazuli – truth-enhancing and good for communication 

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

These words, an interpretation of Ocean’s Razor, via Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – danced through my head…

I went outside. I looked under a heap of dead leaves that had collected in the corner near the fence… directly underneath but slightly to the right of my younger son’s bedroom window. I disturbed a nest of woodlice, and after moving them aside, looking rather sorry for itself was the five pound note. It did fly away through the window. My partner never apologised.

In life, there are things that are overwhelmingly self-evident. All I’m saying is, don’t jump to the obvious conclusion. Leave room for the impossible… or even the improbable.

1421080994454“Yes… I touch it – it’s mine…

‘You’ll be a Man, my son!” – Thank you Mr. R. Kipling for your exceedingly good poem…

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I miss my little boy. Not my son. He’s right here with me now. I mean I miss the little boy he was, the three year old who would sleep beside me in my bed, curled against my back after a bad dream, little feet on the backs of my knees. I miss his soft little boy hands, holding mine trustingly as we cross roads. His innocent joy and wonder at the world around him, the serious conversations he would have with my mother’s dog, the special smile as my cat came to him for strokes. Choosing what he would wear for morning and helping him put it on, showing him how zips, buttons and those monsters of difficulty, socks, work.

I miss the days of “Mummy will make it better” – I could then, there were simpler problems with easier solutions. Explaining division in Maths:

Look, here’s ten sweets… make sure you and Mummy have the same number of sweets each.” The pleasure in your face as you realised you could do this. For ever answering the question ‘Why?’ and not minding as I saw in your eyes the cogs turning, paths and connections forming, thought processes linking as you devised your own ideas and views.

Proud that I can learn from you, not just how to handle 21st century technology, but your philosophies on life and proud that I have a viewing window as I see your adult character develop. I hope I have been a good mother. I hope that I gave you some good ideas and morals that will see you as a confident citizen of the world in the 21st century. You have your own friends and mentors now, good people, honourable people; you have learned emotional intelligence and moral confidence, to be your own man and make your own place in the world.

My son, who is now an almost-man, getting ready to leave my home, but not my mother-love. I am sad, but it is as it should it be and I will see you on your way with a smile and a kiss, knowing that you remain a child of my heart while you walk your own path. 

IMG_6948This is Gino Baboo, my son’s favourite toy since he was three years old… showing signs of wear and tear but ready to go at a moment’s notice…

Kindness

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I don’t do unkindness. Not now. Not anymore. There was too much of it in my earlier life and I reached a point where I felt ill with it… like eating too many greasy chips. I thought I would hate to make anyone else feel as I did and had a quick prod of the old emotions – as you do – to see what I could do to feel better.

Kindness. I am not speaking about dancing around scattering glitter and flowers, and letting people liberties with you. Just little things. Like the opening of a door for someone; a pleasant smile and a ‘thank you’ can make all the difference to a day and make you feel that it is all worthwhile.

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Un-kindness is unnecessary and very rarely justified. I saw something that made me so sad the other day as I was dusting in my son’s bedroom. I had the window open, and we overlook a park. A little boy, only about three, was walking with his mother who was on her phone and pushing a pushchair. He had some sweets, but dropped them and started to cry. Instead of comforting him, or saying:

Never mind, we’ll get you some more,” the woman cuffed him across the top of his head and shouted:

Now look what you’ve done, you little tw**! Well that’s it, you’re not getting any more!”

What was the point of that? How cruel and unkind a response to an unfortunate accident. The little boy wanted his sweets, he didn’t throw them away in temper, he wasn’t misbehaving. As I watched from the bedroom window, the mother seized the little boy and dragged him away, still sobbing miserably.

What did the child learn from that? That his earliest disappointments in life will come from his mother? Not a lesson I would ever want my sons to learn. That it’s all right to hit out in temper at someone who’s already upset? Or hey, life’s a bitch and inevitably something worse will happen when you’re already hurting?

Really, it wouldn’t have taken much just to comfort the little boy, or even say:

“Well, we can’t go back to the shop now, let’s go home and watch television and you can have some more sweets tomorrow.”

IMG_6447 (2).JPGA pink rose, traditionally associated with kindness, love and gentleness

The ‘un’ kindness of the whole incident struck me as sad and unnecessary. However, I’m not judging the mother, perhaps she had a bad day… but there is always room for kindness, and a grateful smile from her little boy could have been her reward if the whole scenario had played out differently.

So. As I said previously, there’s no need to be unrealistic about the kindness you bring to the world, just think about what you do. You’ll feel better in yourself and you will have a better response from the people you meet. And, here’s a thought, be kind to yourself too. Give yourself a break.

(Thank you to Iman Refaat of Perceptions for inspiring this post and making me think about kindness. She’s a lovely person, check out her blog for inspiration, positivity and encouragement.) 

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All featured crystals are examples of Rose Quartz, my favourite crystal. It is linked to the heart chakra and helps to promote love, compassion and empathy.