Tuesday, 13 November 2012

We are doing alright

Yesterday my eldest son came home from school and told me something that made me cry.

I know.

It doesn't take much.

But this was really super special.

Something that made me feel as if we are doing alright.

Bringing up our kids with the right attitudes & morals.

Those things are very important to me.

Much more so than what they are going to 'be' when they grow up.

Surely HOW they be is more important?

Not so long ago I was in one of my son's classrooms for a parent meeting and I saw a quote on the classroom wall that really resonated with me.

I am going to segue a little here....remind you of ol' skool Snoopy cartoons.
Do you remember the bits where there are adults in the cartoon speaking and all you can hear is 'Wah Wah wah wah'- like in this video......

I had that happen to me at this meeting when I read this quote.

All around me went to 'Wah wah'.

All I could hear was the words I was reading resonating loudly in my head.

A light bulb had gone off.

I wish I knew whose words they were...I forgot to take notice.

The words.  It was all about the words.

Stuck in my soul.

"It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings"


So much YES!

Mr. Girlfriend and I had only been laughing at ourselves as parents the other night.

We were laughing about how as we get older we seem to have less & less idea about everything. So much so that soon we will be in negative territory.

I retold this idea to some friends of mine last night.  

It is good to laugh at ourselves. Not to take ourselves too seriously.

I guess it feels as if we are stepping into a whole lot of foreign territory with our teen. After years of having young children and feeling pretty well versed in how to manage that we are now back in 'beginner' territory.

Not really sure if we are doing it right or not?

Lots of self doubt as parents.

The kind you have when you are doing things for the first time.

Then our eldest comes out and tells us about something he did.  And it made me feel me ok about it all. That we are indeed doing ok.

We could have very nearly never known about what he did.  Kids do lots of stuff we don't know about.

And one thing I DO know about the teen years is that there is a whole lot more secret stuff than not secret stuff.

I guess we assume that is not a good thing & it is hard to reconcile the letting go with the being attached there is no doubt about it.

But I am sure there are LOTS of really amazing things. Little things. Little and GOOD things that happen that we won't ever know. 


Let me tell you about this one good thing.

This amazingly good thing that my 14yo son did yesterday.

He is currently undertaking 3 weeks of school in the CBD of Melbourne.  He and his fellow class mates make their own way into the city each day to their little school away from school to encourage familiarity with their home town.  To encourage them to dig deep into the history & workings of the city they live in.

How great.

He was making his way into the big smoke for his very first day of the CBD program.

He got off the train right in the centre of town & made his way up out of the underground station to the street.

For some reason there were a stack of bananas being given away in the train station. Some kind of promo.

He grabs a couple & continues up the stairs.

There on his way up on the landing of the staircase was a homeless man.  He tells me he was VERY smelly and his clothes were really ragged & filthy.

My son smiled at him & offered him his bananas.

The man accepted, and thanked him profusely again & again smiling at my boy.

My son could have chosen to NOT see that man. That man who was so invisible to every other commuter walking by him.

One of many many invisible homeless people in every city on earth.

He could have decided that the very unpleasant smell and his ragged appearance was too much.  Too confronting. Too much to warrant an interaction.  

But instead he chose to engage with him and offer him something of real value.

This is why I cried.

I felt overwhelmed.

Amazed that he behaved with such tenderness & compassion towards a complete stranger when it would have been so much easier to walk past like most other people did.


Just wow.

Our kids teach us SOOO much each and every single day.

It is so important that we make the time to listen to what they tell us.

I might NEVER have heard this story.

And I would have missed so very much.

Tostadas are a delicious fresh, tasty & easy dish from Mexico.
Most people love Mexican food but might have never thought of eating it for Breakfast.
I bet it will be a weekend favourite once you have tried it!
You can change the ingredients to suit what flavours you like.
You can serve it as described below but it is also great with a fried egg on top or maybe even a little bit of cooked shredded chicken or prawns if you want to be all fancy.
You can change the ingredients that make up the salsa to your won liking. I like this mix as it provides a lot of colour as well as different flavours & textures.
Super yum scrum.
You can add chilli if you are are a chilli fiend like me!
I had the absolute pleasure of cooking this recipe with some 12yo girls at our local Primary school & can tell you all that they LOVED eating it and were super doop great at making this.
Get your kids in the kitchen and enjoy! 
Cooking together is one of the BEST ways to have interactions & conversations with your children.
  •      2 avocadoes
  •      2 mangoes
  •       1 orange, peeled
  •      ½ Lebanese cucumber, peeled
  •       100g fetta cheese
  •       ½ bunch  coriander
  •      2 limes
  •      1 teaspoon cumin powder
  •      1 packet of Round Tortilla chips
  •       ½ Spanish onion (red onion)
  •       Salt & Pepper
Using a sharp knife, chop the mango, cucumber & orange into 2cm cubes.

Dice the Spanish onion finely.

Chop the coriander coarsely.
Add all chopped ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Add the juice of two limes & the cumin powder.

Mix well with your hands.

Taste and season with salt & pepper.

Place the tortilla rounds on a large platter and add a small amount of the salsa (the mango, cucumber mix) on top of each.

(If you are adding a fried egg you would fry them up at this point– it would be better to do individual serves and pop the egg on top of each individual serve)

Once you have finished crumble the fetta over the top of it all.

Add a little more fresh coriander to make it look super fab.

The fact that I am not taking my eldest to see my wonky-eyed fave singer man & his band (Radiohead) with me on Friday was only tempered a little by the fact that yesterday I bought him tickets to see another fave of ours- Kings of Convenience -with me- 3 rows from the front early next year.
OMG did I tell you how excited I am that my lads are old enough to come with me to music gigs now?!!!!
And the fact that they want to......and love the same music.....THE BESTEST.


  1. Wow, that was a lovely story. I am going to write that quote down. My kids are not far from entering their teens and I'm feeling apprehensive to say the least. So happy to have discovered your blog, I'm looking forward to trying out your recipes too.

  2. Total respect all round.

  3. What a beautiful story.
    The way you parent your boys is so inspiring Ruth. And I often find myself asking "What would Ruth do?".
    You're certainly raising some very special little people.
    (and I'm definitely trying that recipe! yum!)

  4. Beautiful Ruth, I would be very proud of this amazing kindness too.

  5. Your story doesn't surprise me at all Ruth. I know your boys are a wonderful young people.


  6. How proud you must be! Your boy will grow into an amazing human being just like his Mumma xx

  7. What a beautiful, young man. You can be so proud. By the way, the quote is from "Ann Landers", which is a pen name created by columnist RUTH Crowley. There you go - a connection! Eva x

  8. Such a nice story to hear about. All your boys are accredit to you both.
    We are off to Radiohead sat night. Can't wait! Should be good.

  9. Who needs parenting books, when we have you, Ms Ruth.


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