I have recently read a gem of a book called “Frangipani” by Celestine Hitiura Vaite. It’s the simple, yet profound, story of an incredible Tahitian mother and how she copes with everyday issues, from a husband who isn’t too keen to part with his pay check, to nosy relatives and letting go of her children as they get older. In it, the mother has a “coming of age” talk with her daughter, in which she gives her basic rules to live by, pearls of wisdom passed on from mother to daughter - simple things, for example – Don’t visit people at eating times unless you’ve been invited, and (my personal favourite) Never visit a woman who has just given birth looking your best.
It got me thinking – what “pearls of wisdom” would I pass on to my daughters? So I came up with the following list:
Be kind to small children and animals.
Keep your house at least reasonably clean – you never know when visitors might arrive
Be responsible, but don’t forget to have fun.
Find a good hairdresser who cuts your hair well – a good haircut can really boost the spirits.
Keep your hands and feet clean and pretty – you can tell a lot about a person from the condition of their hands and feet.
Accept that men think differently from woman and this sometimes makes them do seriously silly things. It’s how they are made and they can’t help it.
Don’t marry someone who is overly serious and fussy – you need a partner you can laugh and have fun with.
Don’t marry someone who is only interested in having fun and who has no time for housework and maintenance – you need a partner who is going to help around the house and who you can lean on in tough times.
Don’t make fun of old people – that’s going to be you one day; treat them the way you want to be treated when you are old and grey.
Keep your washing and ironing up to date – there is nothing worse than a pile of ironing glaring at you from the basket.
Never go to bed with a dirty kitchen.
Don’t tell a new friend your deepest secrets.
Before you speak, think. Is what you want to say kind, necessary and true?
Accept that in marriage and motherhood there are going to be huge disappointments, get over it. Rather dwell on the moments of bliss.
White shoes generally make a woman look like Minnie Mouse.
Wearing winter shoes and a jersey with a summer dress is never a good look.
Get enough sleep.
It is usually worthwhile making an effort to get on with your in-laws.
If you really believe in something don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise.
Respect other people’s opinions and beliefs.
Don’t do something tonight that you will regret tomorrow.
There are some basic rules that are non-negotiable:
Never eat with your mouth open
No one night stands
Always wear a seatbelt
Don’t go to bed with your make-up on
Don’t do drugs – ever
Never, ever drink and drive
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