Family Matters

This weekend we celebrated my Mum’s sixtieth birthday. After much Secret Squirreling, we managed to bring together almost all of her family for a surprise, intimate dinner; quite a feat considering she is one of ten siblings, all of whom live in other states of the country. Consequently we packed out the restaurant and sent the waiters to Whiskeyville by the end of the night.

Turns out Secret Squirrel was an actual character. Who knew!
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As you can imagine, Mum’s jaw hit the floor when she saw the restaurant packed full of her family. She was so overwhelmed and excited to see them all, it was a beautiful moment. All of the good vibes in the room got me thinking about family.

The subject of family has been explored far and wide through television. Shows like Full House, Family Ties and The Cosby Show showed us that although family can be challenging at times and has it’s ups and downs, at the end of the day it’s like a big decopage: lots of little pieces (the people) are held together by glue (family. See how I metaphor? Do ya?) on a giant duck (okay, I’ve lost the metaphor, but the paper’s got to stick to something, so why not a giant duck?).

Take Family Matters, for example. It tells us that even the most awkward, poorly-dressed, black sheep can be loved by family. It also teaches us that if we do something wrong, all we need to do is say ‘Did I do that?’ (preferably with a nasal twang) and family will accept us. Unfortunately I’m not lucky enough to have a Steve Urkel in my family, and sometimes it is up to television to teach us these lessons.

Steve Urkel: not a member of my family.
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Like most people, I don’t see our family as often as I should. The thing about family is that, no matter how long it has been since you have seen them, they are still so familiar to you, and not just because you look the same. It gives you ready-made comfort, much like a buttercream cake from a box, only without those little silver cachous that will break your teeth. Family doesn’t change, it doesn’t desert you, and hopefully it doesn’t judge you (and when I say ‘you’ I mean ‘me’) for keeping in contact far less than you should. If I were paparazzi, the world would be finding out about Kate and Wills in 2030.

I did tell you about the Black Plague, didn’t I?
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Call me selfish, but although the night was for my Mum, I got a lot out of it myself. It made me remember how happy and loved I feel around my family, simply because they are that: family. I hope that there will be another reunion soon, but until then I will strive to keep in contact, and possibly take a few fashion tips from Steve.


Stop Kidding Around!

Have you ever walked through a park, seen all the crunchy, Autumn leaves blanketing the grass, and felt compelled to dive bomb them? Or maybe you make a bee line for the swings? When was the last time you drew a hopscotch with chalk and hopped your heart out?

If you are reading this, and you are an adult, chances are it has been a while. You may have looked at the leaves, but convinced yourself that leaves in your hair is not proper business attire and it may give everyone in the office the wrong impression. Or perhaps you were worried your bum would get trapped in between the swing’s arms. No? Just me then…

The fact is, we could all do with a dose of childishness from time to time. And no, that doesn’t mean pinching me and repeating everything I say. I said that doesn’t mean…okay, stop it.

When you consider children, their philosophy is mostly: if it’s fun, do it. They don’t think about what other people are going to think about them, and they generally don’t care what state their clothes might be in. Diving head first into a sand box is of no concern to them, so why to us adults?

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Quite simply, we only have ourselves to blame. We all want to go on the round-a-bout, but we don’t want to be the first one. We are afraid that other adults will think we are strange or a little crazy.

So what do we need to do? Well, contrary to the title of this post, we need to start kidding around. This week I challenge you to do something you would have done at ten years old without thinking. Even if it is a little hippity-hop every time you step of the curb (which is my personal M.O.). Treat yourself to a little fun in your day. You will be amazed what it can do!