Thursday Thirteen – My Family
I am a very family orientated person. I live within an hour of all the people I’m about to tell you about, and I see most of them at least once a week. What I wanted to do for my second Thursday Thirteen post, was to describe traits that each of my family members possess, and why I admire them for it. This is not to say that they are without flaws, but I think that we should always be looking for the best in people. It is also not to say that they don’t possess other admirable traits, just that I have chosen one to focus on!
So, without further ado, here’s my Thursday Thirteen:
- Youngest Son – Imaginative – YS is one of these children who has a vivid imagination, meaning that hours can be spent with the most rudimentary of playthings. He will create worlds, stories and eras up in his bedroom or out in the garden. Blankets become dragon wings. Brooms become valiant steeds. Brightly coloured scarves become panoramic landscapes. His mind knows no bounds and he is content to follow where his imagination carries him.
- Eldest Son – Generous – I don’t know whether it’s because he’s the middle child, but ES is quite possibly one of the most generous kids I have ever come across. He would gladly give you anything he had, even if it meant that he would have to go without. Small children instantly realise this, and they flock to him, wanting to hold his hand or have him tie their shoe laces. His generosity comes from a place of abundance; it is as if it is easy for him to be generous as he know there will always be more.
- Daughter – Thoughtfulness – Often I will go to bed and I will find a small note from D and a small gift, like a strawberry from the garden or a friendship bracelet, waiting for me on my pillow. She recognises that the small things matter. She picks up on other’s unhappiness/ illness/ tiredness and she looks to make things better. By leaving these small surprises for her parents and siblings, she tells us that she loves us and cares about our well-being. She makes others feel looked after.
- Husband – Supportiveness – I am currently engaged in completing the third of my university degrees, and throughout the inevitable trials and tribulations that have accompanied my journey through higher education, he has always been there giving whatever kind of support I needed. He gives me the time and space I need to study, the money I needed to pay my fees, and he gave me pep talks when I felt I couldn’t go on any more. And it’s not just me he supports; he supports our children, as well as his numerous students both at college and through his tutoring. Our successes are his successes, as they could not have been accomplished without him.
- Brother – Risk Taking – Ever since we were little, B was always so much braver than I was, and this has continued to be the case as we’ve grown up. He is not afraid to take a risk as he is sure that he will land on his feet. His optimism coupled with his bravery have led him to take many calculated risks over the years, which have resulted in success at a young age. I look at what he has made, and what he is making, of his life so far with pride and awe.
- Sister-in-Law – Assertiveness – I think S-in-L is one of the strongest women I have ever come across, and yet this strength, this assertiveness, certainly doesn’t come off as abrasiveness! She won’t allow anyone to take advantage of her and her own, and she won’t stand for inferior service. She has a very strong sense of right and wrong, and will always fight for a fair deal. She is just beginning her studies to become a social worker, and I can’t think of a better person to champion the rights of others!
- Niece – Willingness to Laugh – I have already posted about some of the traits that babies have that I believe we can all learn from, but I would like to attribute this one specifically to N, as she seems to possess it in abundance. She laughs a lot! Even in between mouthfuls of her dinner, she is giving great, big, gummy grins. She has such a capacity for joy that she can’t help but inspire joy in all around her. Such fun to be around!
- Mum – Creativity – My mum makes the most wonderful artist’s books. You can see some of them at her flickr page. Her experimentations with different media, her willingness to learn technique from others, and her seemingly innate understanding of aesthetics are truly impressive. However, despite her obvious talent, she is also modest and accepting of praise with both grace and humility. Her creativity not only inspires her to create, but through her, it rouses the desire in others to create also.
- Dad – Curiousity – I don’t think I know anyone more curious about life, the universe and everything, than my dad. He has a blog called Heroes Not Zombies in which he posts about his latest discoveries, and any new developments in his understanding of the world he lives in. Whenever I speak to him, he has found out something new, or he has developed a new interest. Being around him, I am constantly enthused about learning, and inspired to look at the world afresh.
- Grandma – Values Friendship – Very few people have managed to retain friends for the length of time that my grandmother has, and if they have, they probably don’t see them as regularly as she does. Four times a week, she meets up with the same group of women, and has done for the last 40 years. They share laughs, tears, knitting errors and countless cups of coffee, and I so admire her investment in these friendships.
- Grandad – Nurturing – I have posted many photographs from my grandfather’s garden, which you can see here and here. All my life, I have associated my grandad with his garden; whenever we came around to visit, Grandad would be out in the garden, planting seeds, threading seedlings, weeding the flower beds and caring for the tomatoes in his green house. His dedication to his ‘bit of earth’ is absolute, and his determination to nurture the growth of his plants is extremely inspiring.
- Gran – Affection – Gran always shows her family a huge amount of affection. She worries for us as we explore all life has to offer us, but when we come home again, we are always greeted with a lovely big hug. She is always thinking of us: phoning us when there’s a TV programme that would interest us, clipping articles out of newspapers, making contacts. Her home is always welcoming.
- Grandpa – Dedication – About nine years ago, my gran had a major heart-attack, from which she has never fully recovered. I so admire the way my grandpa looks after her. Even though they’ve been married for over fifty years, there is still so much love there. His tireless dedication to Gran has been unwavering. He once described Gran to me as being like a hothouse orchid, and I just thought that, despite all my literary research, that was the most beautiful, poignant simile I had ever come across.
So, there we are – that’s my family. As I said at the start, it is certainly not the case that we are a family of superior, perfect beings, but I have focussed on, what I see as, some of their best traits. In all areas of my life, I make it a point to appreciate the best in people, as I hope others do the same for me.
OK, over to you – what are the traits in your nearest and dearest that you admire most?
Happy Thursday Thirteen!