"When I think about it, being a daughter to an ageing mum in an old folk's home who she daily visits and a wife to a husband with a terminal illness who can no longer walk too far, besides holding down a regular job and being voluntarily involved with a number of organizations must be pretty daunting and time demanding. What I love best about my wife, Sheila, is her unselfish nature, her inborn compassion and her automatic response to place the needs of others above her own. without a word of complaint.
Yesterday, after making two return journeys to the hospital to see to my needs, she was then called out to the hospital again as mum had been admitted and needed a number of tests. It was midnight when she went to bed and seeing her tired, my only satisfaction was that she didn't have any children to check on and tuck in. Sheila never had any children, yet I know she would have made the best of mums; passing on to them the sound values she has always possessed. Whereas, I have been blessed with fatherhood and would go so far as to say that were I forced to chose between roles, I'd prefer to be a father over that of a husband. Don't get me wrong, I love the institution of marriage, but I know that I was born to be a father primarily!
Bringing up a child to be adventurous, confident and imaginative is difficult for any parent, but cannot be done without answering the many thousands of questions from their inquisitive minds. Their growth in learning and independence is achieved by providing them with the opportunity to make their own decisions. It takes tremendous strength and resolution to allow your child to suffer the consequences of their own decision but it is a vital part of the learning curve. Any parent should, however always make time to honestly answer their questions, whatever inconvenience it may cause at the time.
Life is of itself an unanswered question, but let's still believe in the importance of the question and the dignity of the child asking it! Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that a prudent question asked by the child will represent half the wisdom attained that day.
Even the most mundane of particulars are capable of occupying the mind of a young child who is newly exploring the vast richness of the world they were born into. Even the depth of their innocent questions is capable of stumping most adults, embarrassing them greatly or putting them on the spot. It has often been said that only a child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.
When my son, William was only three years old and he saw a heavily pregnant woman, he asked, 'How will the baby in her tummy get out, Daddy?' Naturally, I gave him the traditional Yorkshire Pudding answer when I replied, 'The same way it got in there, son!'
Children are also experts at conciseness of expression, which I suspect is much more to do with their innate honesty than any particular mastery of the mother tongue. Most children inherently have difficulty resisting the doing of something, indeed anything which they have specifically been told 'not to do'. Hence the one thing you should never say to a child is, 'Under no circumstances, Jimmy, must you ever do that;' unless of course you actually want the child to do it.
When a child asks their parent too many 'Why' questions in the same minute to which the adult cannot provide a satisfactory explanation that the child would understand, often the weary adult will resort to the standard reply, 'Because I say so' or 'Because I say so and you've got to do what I say.
'Our William's favourite response whenever I used the term, 'Because You've got to' was one of sheer child simplicity. 'Got to not to, Dad. Got to not to!' he would invariably reply.
My daughter Becky was just as defiant and smart in her response whenever I used to threaten to leave her behind if she didn't get a move on. She would simply swing her feet in the air nonchalantly and say, 'You go if you must. See if I care!' " William Forde : May 18th, 2017.