Monster hunting, fast cars and jungle trekking

Wednesday evening I found myself chasing monsters, driving fast cars and trekking through a jungle.

With my trusted sidekick beside me, we hunted the monsters out and stunned them with a Buzz Lightyear gun. There were lots of them. They were on top of cars. On the dangerous road. Down drains. On top of buildings. They were everywhere… There’s one!.. Bzzzz… Stunned him with Buzz’s gun… There’s another one!…. Bzzzzz….

Then we drove cars. Really fast. Performed death-defying stunts. Jumped over other cars. Flipped onto our sides then back again. Wheel spun. Skidded. Dangerous stuff, but we were never in danger.

Then we lived in a jungle and spoke to elephants, lions, giraffes and hippos. We grazed on leaves from tall trees, We sat on rocks. We drank from the river…….

Wednesday, I spent the evening playing with my friend’s 3-year-old little boy.

Play is such an important part of a child’s development, but have us adults forgotten it’s importance? Has adulthood with all it’s pressures, responsibilities and worries stifled the pure enjoyment we used to get from just playing.

I’ll put my hand up right now, and admit that I still enjoy playing. I enjoyed stunning monsters, I enjoyed racing cars and I enjoyed living in the jungle.

I enjoy entering a land of endless creativity. Boundless imagination. Limitless fun. For a short while, its pure escapism. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it?

I’m a normal responsible adult. I do normal responsible adult things.

But….. I do like to daydream.

Maybe that’s why I’ll quite happily sit cross-legged on the floor and play with my niece & nephew, and my friend’s children….. Maybe that’s what has earned me the very honourable title of Godmother to four very beautiful Godchildren.

A lot of my friends now have children. I don’t, but I’m not one of these friends who feels duty bound to interact with their friend’s children. Neither am I one of these friends who has slowly distanced themselves from their friends with children and just surrounds themselves with similar circumstanced friends.

I’m one of these friends who understands that when you are spending time with your friend’s children, you are in the company of the most precious item on Earth to your friend. You are in the presence of something that your friend, the parent, has such natural, immeasurable and sometimes inexplicable love for. Love, stronger than any diamond and worth so much more too.

If you love your friends. You’ll love their children too. And I do.

I take an interest in the lives of my niece and nephew. I’ve never missed a school concert, or a birthday party, and I don’t ever intend to. I help with homework, I babysit, I play shop, I play house, I play board games, I read books, I do jig-saws. I colour in, I cut-out, I play football in the street, I play cricket in the summer, and I’m a legend on Cooking Mama on the Nintendo DS.

My niece and nephew have their own brilliant, wonderful, unique, quirky personalities, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of something familiar. A certain look, a little mannerism, a smile, a frown. It reminds me that something beating inside of them, beats inside of me too…

Advertisements

I got what I deserved

Mirror… Signal… Manoeuvre…  BANG! ….. Shit!

That was last Wednesday night as I was pulling out of a parking space in a supermarket.

I didn’t check my blind spot and I reversed into a parked car behind me.

What do I do? The owner of the car wasn’t there? What would you do?

This is the first time I’ve ever had an incident in the car. In a corner of my brain a little figure who has been sitting in the shadows for the 14 years I’ve been driving, suddenly cleared her throat, stepped out into the spotlight and said loudly “I’ll take control of this – you have two choices”

Ladies & gentleman, here for one night only (hopefully!) my driving conscience…

“Choice A, you can drive away. Say nothing, do nothing. Drive away and go home. Eyes forward, slam it into first and drive off. Don’t look back

“Choice B, you can park up, wait for the owner, apologise, swap details and do the whole Insurance thing”

My driving conscience is very efficient. It processed all this information for me in the blink of an eye, the beat of a heart, the click of a finger…. then said

“Well?, make a decision please. NOW!”

I put my car into first gear and drove…..

THIS IS THE PART WHERE I GET WHAT I DESERVE


I drove around to the space next to the car I’d just hit, parked and got out.

The lady who owned the car was now casually walking back from putting her trolley away. When she saw me standing by her car, her casual walk quickened to a purposeful one. As she approached I said

“I’m so sorry I’ve just reversed into your car”

“Pardon” she said

“I’m so sorry, I’ve just reversed into your car

She looked at me, looked at her broken bumper, looked at me

“Never mind” She said “Don’t worry, nobody is hurt, and these things happen”

It was at this point, I realised that this lady’s behaviour was mirroring my own. I’d got exactly what I deserved. I’d got a pleasant and very understanding individual.

I was calm, and accepting of the fact that I couldn’t change what had just happened. I could however choose how I dealt with it. I wasn’t angry at myself, I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t frustrated. I was calm and rational, and so was the lady I was talking to. The situation had been mollified by both our reactions. Of all the cars in all the car park, I’d reversed into the right one!

Despite feeling a little bit foolish, my pride was still intact, because I’d done the right thing. And because I’d done the right thing, most importantly, my integrity was still intact. Still whole, untarnished and unblemished.

The lady was actually thanking me for not driving away. Although my driving conscience had presented me with that choice, I’d dismissed it instantly. I did the right thing, and I’m proud of myself that I did.

Despite having my first claim, having to get the damage to my car repaired too, and having to pay a hefty excess in the process, I’m happy it happened. It taught me that like attracts like. It reminded me that there are consequences to choices we make, it reassured me that my instinctive reaction and behaviour is well-balanced and most importantly… it taught me to always check my blind spot!