I absolutely love working with young children. I know it’s not for everyone. We all know about ‘jam hands’. But for me, it brightens my days and helps me to smile.
I’ve been looking after some twins recently. They’re 19 months old. Their Mum was poorly last week and I went round to look after them while she slept. When I got there, the vicar was there. She was a bit flustered. She said that she thought they were hungry because they kept saying ‘nomnomnom’ but they didn’t eat the food she gave them. I listened for a moment before realising that they were actually saying my name! They can’t say Naomi so pronounce it as Nomi and she must have got confused!
I love looking after the girls. It’s just wonderful to see how they grow and learn every day. It’s also great to see what sort of effect you have on them, teaching them new words and helping them to discover new things in the world. It’s heartwarming to see how amazed they are by such simple things in life. It helps me to take a step back, look at my own life and appreciate the little things.
Life can be so simple. I think we overcomplicate it, often, and in doing so, we lose some of it’s beauty.
Looking after the twins last week while their Mum was ill, it made me think. What do you do if you’ve got young children and you’re too unwell to look after them? What if your parents live too far away to come immediately and your friends all work or have children of their own? Where do you turn? It must be an absoutely horrible situation for the Mum. She must feel so hopeless and helpless. It’s potentially quite a dangerous situation, an unwell Mum, some young children and no-one to look after them. I would hope that everyone had someone to turn to, but maybe they don’t…
It makes you realise how vulnerable life can be. How quickly things can go downhill. How quickly you can lose things that are so important to you.
I think that we all need to slow down, take a breath and look at the world around us. When you look back on your life, will it be the figures, letters, emails, phonecalls, promotions, bank statements and bills that you remember? Or will it be the crunch of the autumn leaves and the soft kiss of a toddler?
I think it’s time we all took a breath, opened our eyes to the world around us, and showed our loved ones how much we appreciate them.
After all, smiles are more important than suits.