Thursday, 30 May 2013

Are you worthy of admiration?

I have this friend.  In our former lives she was a colleague, but then she married a lovely man who works for the Foreign Office and who now has a job as under-secretary in charge of washing machines (or something) in Pakistan, so that's where she and her two little boys live too.

Now my friend (and apologies if this begins to get a bit gushy and mutual-admiration-ish, but I do I have a point - skip to the end if you want to know what it is) is pretty awesome.  Obviously, she's my friend, and I have great taste.

That aside, though, she's clever, funny, one of the kindest people I know, great fun to be with, gentle and pretty with it (doesn't matter, I know, but I don't want you thinking that she's only got a great personality).  She's also got the great common sense to write a blog.

And recently she's written a couple of posts which say nice things about me.

What? Me? Little old self-deprecating me?

Well, yes.  Me.  Turns out she thinks I'm awesome too.

Now you might say that that's what being friends is about. If you don't think your friends are great, then why bother being friends with them?    So yes, to a certain extent that should, and does, go without saying.

But then I'm not sure it should: go without saying, that is.  Because knowing that this person I admire admires me too is a huge boost to my self-confidence.  I know, of course, that I should value myself without the need for external approval or approbation, but I don't always.  I know, too, that the fact that B and my children (mostly) think I do ok, should be enough, but  it isn't always either.

So I wonder if there are women I admire, (and men too, but I find myself increasingly fighting a very small feminist cause as I grow older, so I'm concentrating on the women here), who don't realise how wonderful they are, what a great job they do - whatever job that is -  and how critical a linchpin they are to their little corner of the world.  And I wonder what a difference it would make to them if I told them.  If I said, in passing, next time we're chatting: "You're amazing.  I hope you know that".

I wonder.  And I wonder who you admire.  And if that person knows that.  And if they don't, whether they ought to.

I bet they admire you too.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Taxonomy of mythical beings

Mummy?  Said L this morning over the rice krispies. What's a gnome?
It's a sort of fairy.
Oh.  And what's a pixie?
Erm, that's a sort of fairy too.
Well how do you know the difference?  And is the tooth fairy a pixie or a gnome, or something else?

Of course, as any ful kno - and I realised, while pondering once she'd been packed off to school - a gnome has a beard and a pixie doesn't.  And neither of them  has wings, which a real fairy (and the tooth fairy, obviously) does.

But what about kelpies, or leprechauns, or sprites?  Or elves (I think they probably have beards too), hobgoblins and imps?

And why don't they cover this sort of thing in the parenting manuals?