This from last week’s edition of The Catholic Weekly:
Our Naomi turned 10 last week. Some readers of this column have been reading it since she was a tiny baby becoming ready to be born into the world. Back then it was called Pregnant Pause, before there was any pitter patter of little feet in our lives. And we hadn’t chosen Naomi’s name yet. She was simply ‘this baby’.
I can’t believe how much has changed in 10 years. The Church has seen two popes elected during that time. We celebrated World Youth Day in Sydney and what a fantastic highlight that was! We’ve had Facebook and YouTube enter our lexicon and our lives.
And all through it, our petite baby girl has steadily and wonderfully grown into cute toddler, precocious five-year-old, and is suddenly now a tall and very independent pre-teen.
There’s a lot I haven’t written about her. I haven’t mentioned that she plays in a basketball team, the depth of her obsession with reading, or the fact that she’d like to own a horse one day.
I never wrote about how surprised I was to see how she coped with the change in schools and neighbourhood last year. She didn’t ‘cope’ in fact, she thrived. She just went in there to school on the very first day and made firm friends instantly and just threw herself with great gusto into every aspect of school life.
All mums are proud of their kids and I’m no different. What has made this mum different has been you. Yes, you!
I have written this column for The Catholic Weekly for more than 10 years but I have also written it for myself. I have written out my happiness and disappointments, memories and musings, and in doing so I’ve tried to be better parent each week because I knew I was going to have to sit down and write about it over the weekend for you. And it was a spiritual discipline, to sit down and try to see the week through the perspective of God’s providence.
That’s the difference you have made, and I thank you so much for it, along with the former editor Kerry Myers, whose idea it was for me to write the column in the first place.
And that’s why I urge every new parent to write down some things about your children and yourself every now and then, even if it’s only for their birthday card each year.
I knew someone would be watching (or reading) about my parenting experience, and so at some level I was always be trying to better at it, and analysing things when I had a bad week. Writing this column has kept me accountable and has been a great grace in my life.
Though not as great a grace as the lovely Naomi Thérèse!