Wednesday 2 April 2014

How can I make your childhood amazing?

This morning I read this article in the Huffington Post. I really encourage you to do the same.
I often find treasure in the Huff. It is a good place to go to when the bad news gets a bit too much to bear.

It is one of the places I like to have a look through regularly to find intelligent editorial.
Well heck I certainly can't find it in any of Australia's print newspapers anymore (although I am LOVING this very new paper - I do hope it lasts......) I read through this article I found myself nodding and maybe even doing a bit of a fist-pump here and there (I was hiding at home in my office so I was only embarrassing myself).

It came after a night where I marvelled as I watched my kids playing the simple card game of SNAP at the dinner table together & the joy that playing that simple game brang to my crew.

But do you know what it was that I loved so very much?

It was this one sentence......

"Childhood is inherently magical, even when it is not perfect."

Yup.  Nail hit on head.

I love it because it takes away this recurring theme that we seem to surround ourselves with as parents,  that the more we provide in terms of stuff and things and big celebrations and better this and that, the better and richer childhood we are giving to our children.

It takes away the notion that the way we 'deliver' childhood to our children is somehow better or richer or more magical than someone else's way.

And maybe most importantly of all it takes away the need for parenting to be a competition and leaves the child to take charge in forging their own path a bit more.

I think people are starting to swing back around to paring things back a bit, taking things back to the simple.  Have you noticed this turn too?
I think it is a healthy thing.  For us parents and most beneficially of all for our children.

We need to give our children time and space and they will create the magic.

CHILDREN are what make childhood magical.

They inherently wonder, they inherently invent, they inherently question, they inherently imagine.

It is not the 'stuff' we buy them that makes this happen.

It is the way children make what they already have into something magical.

It is the rug over a chair that turns it into a castle, it is Mummas shoe that turns them into a Queen, it is the dirt that turns into magic soup, it is the tree that turns into a precariously high fort, it is the bedsheet that turns them into a ghost.

THEY are what create childhood.  It's not by buying the latest and greatest toy or by giving a super dooper fancy schmancy birthday party.

It is created by the singular and most wondrous thing of all- the creative genius that is the mind of a child.

As parents maybe we need to step right on back and let our kids do more of the creating & give ourselves more time to watch them enjoying their childhood instead of spending all our time worrying we are doing it wrong.

I think we need to stop trying to make it all sparkly and perfect and let it be wonky and wobbly. Where is the magic in perfect?

We can make our children's childhood amazing by giving up trying to create it for them and give them the time and space to create it themselves.

Because childhood in itself is amazing.

I made these last night for dinner. Served with a delicious green salad for a super filling and hearty vegetarian meal.
Really is anything wrapped in Puff pastry NOT delicious?

One of my lot has taken them to school to eat cold for lunch today too.
EASY & delicious and can be frozen to pull out on those "OMG I haven't made dinner yet' moments.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED (makes 4 large rolls) :

  • 1 x 250g packet frozen spinach
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 150g grated cheese
  • 150g crumbled fetta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs (reserve a little bit for basting the pastry)
  • S& P
Preheat oven to 200C
Mix all ingredients (not the puff pastry!) in a large bowl.

Cut the puff pastry sheets in half.

Spoon mixture into the centre of each pastry sheet, roll over and tuck in so all of the stuffing is tucked in nicely.

Place baking paper onto an oven tray.

Turn over so the joint seam is on the bottom & lay the rolls onto the baking paper.
Brush with egg wash & sprinkle with sesame seeds if you are feeling fancy!

Bake for 25-30 mins or until nicely browned.

Remove and eat or cool and freeze ready to pop out for emergency meals!


  1. You know I love this. The thoughts, the words and the food. I am often asked how I got both my (now teenage) children to have such amazing imaginations. People don't believe me when I say nothing. Sometimes parenting is just that, a bunch of doing nothing...

  2. Helen (grabyourfork)2 April 2014 at 11:46

    These sound amazing! And so easy too. Agree with you about childhood too. There has been a lot of talk about the value of unstructured vs structured play too.

  3. Oh I love this article Ruth! Thanks so much for sharing it! So many things ring true. x

  4. Yes to this Ruth! I wholeheartedly agree. I was a nanny, many years ago, and my best experiences were also those that seemed richest for the kids I looked after - these almost always involved the simplest games, unrestricted creativity, hands-on experiences and being allowed to run wild outside. I'm soon to welcome my own baby into the world and those same principles apply... I'm looking forward to letting her discover her own magic :-) Thanks for sharing xoxo

  5. Felicity Macqueen2 April 2014 at 12:41

    So true Ruth, and I think that if we applied the wonky and wobbly rule to other areas of our lives, such as our cooking and our gardens, we would find magic there too! Flick x

  6. thanks for sharing.....timely,with school holidays approaching!

  7. GourmetGirlfriend2 April 2014 at 13:42

    thanks for reading M! SO glad you enjoyed it. I love that in amongst all the online drudgery we can find gems like that.

  8. GourmetGirlfriend2 April 2014 at 13:42

    I am a long time fan. you will find lots and lots of it here. xx

  9. GourmetGirlfriend2 April 2014 at 13:43

    thanks Naomi. yup. so true. x

  10. GourmetGirlfriend2 April 2014 at 13:43

    oh how lovely! there will be lots of magic- for both of you. x

  11. GourmetGirlfriend2 April 2014 at 13:44

    i'm all about championing wobbly and wonky in everything. they are popular words on this blog ;)

  12. GourmetGirlfriend2 April 2014 at 13:44

    yes! exactly!
    I hope lots of families have a whole lot of nothing planned for the holidays.

  13. Nailed yet again GG... Your words, recipe & song, beautiful

  14. What an interesting read! As a clinical psychologist and mother of 4 teenagers this article intrigued me from start to finish. At times I feel greatly parenting is returning to 'slow' and 'simple' but then one of our children get invited to a party or as the buzz word of late seems to be 'gathering' and I quickly lose that concept. So much of our childrens lives are filtered. Digital cameras allow us to also delete if someone is not looking their best, if the light is not perfect, if the family dog decides on an impromptu photo bomb. Imperfection and 'wonky' should be celebrated and in children it should be endorsed. A 4 year old will have a far more 'magical' experience being allowed to play in the dirt and make mud pies for their imaginary friends than they will taken off to a 45 minutes ballet class for example. I could explore this field much further but I am sure I am now rambling.

    Excellent article link!

  15. Thanks a mil for that link, Ruth. It's everything I think and instinctively feel. Mostly I think we've got to stop trying to engineer our kids lives and let them live it! x

  16. So true, last week small one had a bunch of activities, guests over and a couple of extra treats. Which day was she most excited about? Sunday where we had nothing planned other than to hangout.

  17. This is the best in so many ways. It's accurate, informative and such a reminder that we all over parent our children. Let the children play and discover the pleasure of being bored or under stimulated - this is when our imagination carries us to places undiscovered and allows us to be creative beings. You nailed it in your summation of the article and have given us all food for thought with both your comments and lovely recipe. Thanks a million and keep celebrating the magic.

  18. Great post! I have my most magical memories from simple things like playing in our overgrown garden and my grandmother letting me use her make up to turn her into a clown! I hope that by providing a wonderous permaculture garden I will give my children that amazing connection to nature that I feel.

  19. great post Ruth my children are grown up but what they remember the most from their childhoods is the simple things ,their love of a favourite book ,playing with cousins and making things out of sheets ,simple and fun!


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