Wednesday, May 02, 2012

In the life of a child

Noah and Auntie Leash
Just over a year ago I became an aunt and have been privileged to experience the joy that little Noah gives me when he smiles and the excitement of watching him achieve a new milestone. I've also become an adopted aunt to a few children over the years, and enjoy selecting meaningful gifts for them, receiving beautiful drawings in return, reading and telling stories, the games we play, and spontaneous cuddles. While I don't have any children of my own, it's important to me to be involved in the lives of the children in my life. As one wise person said:

"A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank...but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child." - Author unknown

I remember some of the adults outside of my immediate family who made a real difference in my life when I was a child. Peter sent me postcards from all the countries he visited, and modeled living with integrity and passion. Colin quietly encouraged me to be adventurous and showed me that men can be kind and outdoorsy at the same time. Rowe announced to a group of us that even her bras were second hand and got me thinking about living simply. Mrs H was a teacher who treated all her students with respect even if they didn't get the high marks and showed me the power of believing in someone. Bruce was enthusiastic about camping trips and hands free phones  and taught me that being an adult can still be fun. Marg remembered our birthdays with thoughtful gifts and was genuinely interested in our lives. She taught me the power of unconditional love.
Aletia skipping with swirls, by Lily E

So, as the next generation goes about the business of growing up, I hope I can make even half the difference in some of their lives that others have made in mine. I guess time will tell. My wish is that I might always find the time to play, listen, encourage, and believe in. And that my life might be patterns and examples of integrity, depth, fun and kindness.


Em said...

I read with love those thoughts, and remember some of the same teachings from the same people, and more from others.

I've always appreciated the way that, even from a young age, you took everything I said seriously. And listened.

Cybele said...

Gorgeous x

Aletia said...

Thanks guys, and Em I'm really touched by your words. I do feel so lucky to have been raised in the Quaker family - could have shared about soooo many wonderful people, especially Michael and Ronis sharing their home and hugs when I was a young adult.