Covid 19 has had a such a huge impact on our lives in 2020 – it’s a first of its kind in our life time. It has been life changing. From it there are quite a few things that people will hopefully take away with them that are positive. A better perspective on really appreciating our health, our community, our environment and all the things that we may have taken for granted in the past.
I have always advocated that ceremonies have so many wonderful benefits, be it a Name Giving Ceremony or a day to Renew Your Vows. As well as being a celebration of your love they are also a wonderful excuse to get together all the most important people in your life and to thank them for being so wonderful and being in your life. At times like this I guess you really appreciate having those opportunities, I have had couples who have had to postpone their wedding days and family had to postpone a naming ceremony that was booked for April that was postponed. Then there are the birthdays – its not as much fun celebrating another year around the sun when its just you and a lonely birthday candle.
It's in these times that we reflect how important it is to us to have those special people in our lives. Human beings are social animals, we have survived and we have evolved on our ability to form close communities and to use these communities to our advantage.
I know that in Isolation we have missed having the regular dinners with our family, the dinners where I don’t have to cook but also where my children are entertained and surrounded by love. If you don’t know me well then you mightn’t know that I am lucky and blessed - because my brother and I grew up in a very large family. Not just a large family of aunties and uncles and cousins (I grew up with 12 cousins, of who many have now married so I have another bunch of cousin in laws and they have provided me with 15 beautiful little nieces and nephews). But also it includes all those close family friends of my parents who are still in our shared lives.
I have so many wonderful memories growing up of family get togethers, celebrating big occasions, I can recall birthdays, engagements and weddings that I attended. Each year as a big group of around 50 people we would all go camping, the days were spent bushwalking and on the beach and from sunset there would be a campfire and marshmallows.
The beauty of growing up in a big ‘family’ is a great sense of security, knowing that in the big wide world I could always find someone if I needed support, I can always find someone if I need any help.
This is exactly how I want my children to grow up, I want them to feel surrounded by love and support. That they have someone to go to when they don’t want to go to either myself or my husband. In fact I want them to have lots of options, because life will present so many different challenges. I want them to know that they are special to so many people and that they are valued.
As a baby I didn’t have a naming day instead I was christened in the same church that my parents had married in the years before. I was only months old and I obviously do not recall that day. But it was captured in photographs, and it was my very first party, it was before I was one year old. There in the pictures are my mum and dad, my grandparents, my aunties and uncles, my godparents and the close family friends who are still present in my life today. It was a day that everyone made an effort to attend, in demonstration to my parents that they cared about me and that they could make time in their life to celebrate me. I turned 40 this year and not only did I celebrate it with the people who I have met in the recent times (my closest confident in my journey of parenting, the mum I met at the hospital whose daughter is two days older than mine, the mums from playgroup who I met once my daughter was old enough to walk and play, our new neighbours), but also with the people I grew up with, my cousins who were my playmates and now their partners and their kids who are the playmates to my two little ones. But also the same aunties and uncles who were at my very first celebration.
When covid is over, when we are all back out in the open and we can socialise freely without the risk of infection. Consider getting your family together, all the family, not just the ones with your gene pool, but the ones that have met along the way. If you have a reason to celebrate then great, theres birthdays, anniversary’s and festivals of all sorts, and if you haven’t found a reason then just have a get together for the sake of having a get together – to say to your special people ÿou’re special to me and I love doing life with you”. For the little feet in your family, their little minds will be imprinted with another memory, another chance to be surrounded by all those people in their lives that love them and who cherish them.
Make your days count,