I can teach you about the smell of lavender when you brush it against your hand.
I can teach you about the life cycle of a butterfly.
I can teach you how to tie your shoe laces and brush your teeth: under, over; back and forth.
I can teach you how to plant a seed and watch it grow whilst holding bated breath.
I can teach you the names of the trees, and together trace the outlines of their leaves as we collect and press them.
I can teach you how to scramble eggs and butter the toast as you stand beside me on your chair at the stove.
I can show you which side of the plate the knife and fork go; and grapple with you over the spellings of ‘blue’ and ‘blew’.
I can teach you how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, and together we can role play those little social moments that you are learning to negotiate.
I can sit with you whilst you yell and rage over the bumpy, obstinate, little ridges at the end of your socks – as you learn that sometimes life isn’t easy, or fair, or how you want it.
But can I teach you how to be kind if I am not kind myself?
Can I teach you to be happy if I am not happy myself?
Can I teach you to love if I am not loving myself?
I am a mirror, which you reflect. And sometimes this feels too much for me.
My mirror is cracked and broken in places, I know. Must I pass that on to you too? If I am honest, I am more aware of my broken-ness, my opaque, rusty bits, since having you. You expose the best and the worst in equal measure.
I try to show you the beauty in the world: the seasons, the circles, the treasure in everyday moments, so that you will learn that the best of life is not always found in what money can buy – but instead in what they eyes of the heart can see, and the depth of the heart can give.
May you love the smell of lavender more than the sum of your bank balance; and treasure kindness more than the size of your house.
And all this in spite of my tarnished, incomplete, at times unsatisfactory modelling to you. My hope is that it is just about goodenough to be enough for you, and that as the smell of lavender beautifully lingers on your beautiful skin, so will this.