In the Disney film of Sleeping Beauty, two fairy godmothers bestow their gifts on the infant princess before the witch blasts in with her spoiler. For this week's listography, Katetakes5 has been pondering what blessings she would wish to be bestowed upon her children, were a passing fairy to take an interest them. And that set me to wondering too. My daughter, if I asked her, would plead for a Juicy Couture tracksuit; my son for the extinction of school. And I? If I could wish for them gifts to carry them through adulthood, I would choose:
An essential tool that allows you to conjure a stallion out of a roll of carpet, to plan an Eden in a rubbly back yard, to invigorate a wet Saturday and walk in the shoes of a stranger. Imagination helps empathy and empathy fosters charity and charity is the root of all virtues.
I always hope that if I wait long enough the gift of patience will be bestowed on me. But, two minutes into a childish altercation I am shrieking louder than my offspring. Patient people play seven games of Guess Who? on the trot, think beautiful thoughts in a motorway jam, coax small talk out of an unappealing party guest and wait for a pip grow into an apple tree. Patient people usually master the art of counting their blessings.
I’ve always thought that the Almighty took His eye off the ball when creating human teeth. My gums are shrinking faster that lambswool on a hot cycle. My smile in the bathroom mirror resembles a predatory yak. And a smile, however benevolent, is marred by lengthy fangs so I would wish for my children’s life path to be eased by dainty white pearlies.
A Moderate Income
Excessive wealth is a burden. The weight of it is liable to kill off imagination, the pursuit of it stunts patience and I never heard that it did gums much good. A blessing is to have enough money to buy essentials and a bit over for Bendicks Bittermints and the occasional naughtiness from Boden, but too little to fund every dream. Impossible aspirations are energising. But I have no objection to them acquiring an old Cotswold rectory with a wing in it for me!
Whether their aim is to grow the largest marrow for a flower show, to compose a symphony, run a pub or to relieve the dispossessed in Chad, I wish for them a sense of purpose to give direction to their lives and protection from the debilitating blight of apathy.
What do you wish for your children?