Covered in sand the children ran to greet their guests as they heard the scrunch of tyres in their driveway.
As the mother stepped from the car she was horrified,
“How on earth do you stand the mess! We could never have a sandpit. I loathe the stuff and Tony would never cope with it in the house.”
Her children stood, gazing with longing eyes at the sand and were too overwhelmed to utter a word.
The hostess invited them inside where she had set up a table for the children to enjoy a time of painting and gluing. Smocks were to hand for all. While her children plunged in, the younger guests held back and didn’t move.
“They really don’t like to get their hands dirty, so if you don’t mind, my children can just watch yours paint,” the visitor proffered.
“They probably take after me. I was never allowed in the kitchen as a child and have always had a housekeeper,” she added.
The ensuing conversation between the adults revealed that, ‘the children’ were being taken to many doctors for a variety of suspected conditions. None were ever found. It appeared that the prevailing parenting regime in their household was, ‘not to make mess.’
The outcomes between the two families were quite astonishing. In the creative household the children learnt to ski, water ski, swim, have leadership roles and academic careers. They had a zest for life and armed with fertile imaginations were wonderful parents encouraging their own children to garden, explore and live! The siblings meet regularly and the more the merrier.
In the, ‘no mess’ family, one child takes his brood to every conceivable therapist, while the other chose not to have children because of the mess they make. The siblings rarely see each other because of their variance about children. The grandparents are miserable that family get-togethers do not take place.
When the above story was related to me, it seemed that, no matter what, a mess had been made or at least, the full potential of the characters involved had not been realised.
The way we choose to live our lives can affect many generations. I think I’d take the risk and plunge into the pool of possibilities rather than throw out a life line!