Be child like

“A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him.”

⁃ Pablo Neruda

My children reminded me how to be. How to move naturally yesterday. To be child like and just enjoy the present.

For weeks, actually months my older 2 daughters have been nagging and nagging to come along for a run with me. I submitted and agreed they could come. In fact I’ve given them two days they can run with me. Full on runs for them but nice active rest runs for me. When I normally run I think too much. How my stride is, what my body position is doing, checking my pace. It isn’t normally until 3-4 miles in that I find a steady relaxed pace and some what quieten down my inner dialogue. Only then do I begin to enjoy it.

We set off at a comfortable pace for us all. Not once did I think about what I was doing. I was checking on my daughters, making sure it wasn’t too tough on them. Encouraging them when they found it tough. Living and laughing together. Hearing them saying they are proud of themselves, learning to push through when it’s tough. To know and feel achievement.

Something I haven’t done on a run since I don’t know when.

I run as a necessity not a want or something I like to do. Now I’m counting down the days to our next run together.

Now I’m paying attention to playing. To been child like. What’s the point of been fit for life if you don’t play and enjoy it.

Now If i could just sit in a seated squat like my 2 year old.

Andy.

live like jay. Be like Goggins.

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Wild child

“Stay wild, Stay child”

I often have glimpses into the future, futures I’d like to see.

I sometimes tell them not to. Tell them it’s rude. But lately I don’t.

Rude to who? Not to me.

To see them every morning enjoying their breakfast enjoying food. Draining every drop of the bowl with full belly’s slurps, giggles and laughter as they do so.

At some point an adult will tell them it’s rude to do so. Like their older sisters who rarely do it now. They will stop doing it. Made to feel less because someone else may find it rude.

I like to think of a future in a partners house somewhere or maybe on holiday with their partners parents sitting down to a nice breakfast.

Draining their breakfast bowls. The parents aghast and saying how rude.

The partner loving them for doing it as much as I do.

Stay wild child, stay wild.

Andy

I am not worried. I am worried

I’m not worried about raising girls. Girls who will have to deal with harassment on a daily basis.

I’m worried about people raising boys.

People not raising boys right. Boys who one day will become men. Men that my girls might come across.

I’m worried people will continue to not challenge the behaviour of the men they live and work with.

The Bug

I am tired of being tired and talking about how tired I am.

– Amy Poehler

Currently in the UK we have the bug.

A sickness bug.

Traveling from area to area from school to school.

I generally lack sympathy. I am very empathetic but sympathy for people I have non.

Which might be some what of an oxymoron. I don’t know.

Children are pretty much little walking Petri dishes of bacteria and illness ready to attack at any point.

This weekend we had our 3 year old daughters 4th birthday party. All week building up to it kids have been pulled out of school or worse, children were been dropped off looking an interesting shade of green whilst their parents disappeared like a flash out of the school gates. Reports of children been segregated into the ill class room with other children who had the bug at both ends. Parents strangely we’re now Un-contactable.

With this information we decided to take all our children out of school for the last 2 days of the week.

We have spent a lot of money ( to us ) on a party with surprise magician clown and we did not want her or her sisters missing it due to catching the dreaded Bug.

My wife took them to the new local library. Been educational and all since they were out of school. 5 minutes into been there a child puked all over the place. The mother of the puking child did very little by apology and tried to rub it away into the shiny new carpet.

So after that we had two days of lock down. We did it. We managed to have them all there with no sign of the dreaded bug.

A great party and a great fun day.

11 pm that night.

Shit.

Pukesville.

Our eldest can not stop throwing up.

What a trooper though, she amazed us. She is very much the dramatic and sensitive one.

Too tired and too ill to moan she wouldn’t leave the side of the toilet incase she was going to be sick again. Which in turn means tag team time for me and my wife. Passing each other with heavy bags under our eyes.

She is fortunately better and now back to her normal self.

Moaning about anything and everything.

Now I just hope we have managed to keep her quarantined enough that the others do not get it.

Because I’ve got really tired of it.

The hardest thing as a parent especially in a larger family is the ability to be able to function when one or a few of you are ill. The border line sleep torture followed by a lack of much needed structure means daily happy life goes out of the window. Tempers fray due to the lack of sleep and generally feeling like crap.

I can’t wait for normality to return. Or at least children with the energy to moan and for me to have the energy to cope with it.

Andy.

The Arts and young children. 

“Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage, since they have an endearing habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority.”

-Bill Hewlett

It feels that the arts have never been more important than when the world is portrayed as a world split and in disarray. It can be used to challenge authority, to make people stop and think, for culture to be explored and celebrated. The arts are often the first to be hit by cuts and austerity.


The arts can often be over looked when raising children. Parents avoid galleries and museums worried about their children running around touching exhibits or that they may ruin the experience for others. Since a young age our children have attended museums and galleries mainly because I enjoy them and on a wet miserable day it’s a good free indoor space to take them. The two older girls still talk about Damien Hirst’s Lamb in formaldehyde that they saw when they were just toddlers along with some exhibitions that at the time could of been classed as risky exhibitions to take them to 

Art is often pushing boundaries and holding a mirror up to society this not only opens interesting questions from the artists to consider but also opens up interesting discussions with growing and young imaginative minds. There is nothing more powerful than a question from a 4 year  to stop you dead in your tracks.

Our girls had their own art work exhibited, which reinforced the message that anyone can be an artist. 



Make art and culture a normal part of your children’s lives. Encourage them to question the things they see. In doing so they will open your eyes and change your perspective of how you view the world.

Now more than ever art galleries and museums need numbers through the doors. Please don’t ever let a stuffy old fashioned museum or gallery make you feel that you shouldn’t be there with your child.

This coming weekend seek out a local museum or gallery that you’ve walked past and never thought of going into.

You may find be surprised If not just remember 90% of them sell coffee and cake.

So there’s always that.

Andy

Be like Goggins, Live like Jay