As a parent, it’s hard watching your children grow up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the most wonderful and rewarding adventures many of us will have the privilege to participate in, but standing by while watching them learn life’s lessons is tough.
This week one of my son’s friends tricked him into doing something that affected a third party, then reported what my son had done to the third party and then lied about his part in it to class friends and his teacher. My poor child became the centre of a situation he had not created, nor asked for and certainly didn’t deserve, but he has learned a valuable lesson about trusting people and making wise decisions.
Eventually the other child admitted his deception and was made to apologise to both parties so in their little world everything is once more hunky-dory and they’re all friends again, but we’ve had some very serious discussions in our home about this and what lessons need to be learned so something like this can’t happen again.
Standing on the sidelines and watching, guiding, advising and most of all, loving unconditionally humbles me every day. I certainly don’t get it right all the time, but then, who does? It’s tough when the instinct to protect is so strong and every cell in your body wants to jump in and solve the problems for them but that is the worst thing to do. Open honest communication and unconditional support and love is what’s needed. We all trust our children and want to believe the best of them, so it’s hard knowing they’ve been hurt, embarrassed, annoyed or learned first hand about life’s harsh disappointments. But isn’t that what shapes us as human beings and gives us wisdom and experience?
I was really proud of him because he consistently told the truth, to me, to his teacher, to the friend that had been wronged. The following day I stood with my son and his teacher while he faced the poor child who had unknowingly been involved due to the prankster and I delighted in his strength and courage – apologising to another person is not easy, looking someone in the eye and asking for forgiveness takes courage. I am so very, very blessed!
It’s been a long term, an even longer year and we’re all ready for our Christmas holidays and celebrations. I personally can’t wait to have a few weeks off work so I can spoil myself with time in the kitchen and potter around with my recipe books once again. This delicious Christmas slice recipe comes from a magazine I bought a few years ago and it’s a wonderful festive standby. If a Christmas cake seems like too much hassle don’t worry, you can whip this up in under an hour and it makes a perfect gift, sliced into squares and packed carefully into a beautiful tin.
2 cups dried mixed fruit
410 g jar/bag fruit mince
125 g butter, chopped
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
100 g dark chocolate bits
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup self-raising flour
1 cup coarsely chopped Brazil nuts
- Place the dried fruit, fruit mince, butter, sugar, zest and juice in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan forced. Lightly grease a 30 x 20 cm (base measurement) and line with baking paper, extending the paper over the long sides to be used as handles.
- Stir the chocolate and egg into the fruit mixture. Sift the flours over the mixture and stir to combine. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and top with the nuts.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, testing with a skewer or tooth pick from about 40 minutes onwards to see it it comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan, then lift out onto a board and slice. You can dust with a little icing sugar if you like to give it a “snowy” effect, but it isn’t necessary.