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Life lessons from the stars

 
Adding creativity into routines creates special memories, says Cath Jenkin.
Cath Jenkin
By Cath Jenkin

Pic: Diane Cassells

Article originally in Parent24
Growing up, I knew my parents were different. They were not the Tupperware party types, nor did they even pretend to be interested in the local bowling club. They were the type of people who shunned convention in favour of doing their best to try and make a difference in the world. They approached parenting in a very unique manner too and, in many ways, I see I've adopted some of their techniques too.

Comet memories

When I was five, Halley's Comet was visible over South Africa. It was an exciting time and my dad was incredibly excited about its appearance in our skies. The comet would be visible at some ridiculous hour in the morning and he was determined that we would not miss seeing it. I remember all too well being roused from my slumber, bundled up into warm clothes and setting out for a very early morning drive to see the comet. I cannot, for the life of me, remember whether or not we actually saw the comet but that memory is etched in my brain forever.

We interrupt this routine for a newsflash!


To my parents, any day was a reason to celebrate. Mom never let an event go by without a celebratory dinner and she'd often cook up a storm just because she wanted to. Our Sunday family breakfasts often meandered into lazy Sunday afternoons and sometimes dinner. Their focus was never on celebrating the usual aspects of life but to make memories every day.

It's undeniably because of their approach, that I live my parenting in the same way. To me, every day is a memory waiting to be made.

Keep shaking things up

In the bustle between work, parenting, life and homework it gets more and more difficult to be innovative in my approach to memories. I've found that as my kid grows up, her time is being stretched in different directions. From homework to extra-murals, her daily schedule fills up fast. So I try, every day, to do one thing that's a little different, eccentric or funny. We've had "do everything backwards" day, "popcorn and salad" dinner or - my personal favourite - pyjama day!

Every day that goes by in her little life, I hope I can make memories that will live with her forever. I know my parents did that for me, and all I need to know now is…when is the next comet flying by?

Do you ever deviate from your routines, just for fun?

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