There’s one thing that no-one tells you about parenting: how much you learn from your children

'Birthday season' always give me cause to ponder some family fundamentals

Share

It’s my personal 'birthday season' when many in my family including two daughters, mother and sister and more mark their big days within the same week or so. It leaves me both bankrupt, and very grateful I don’t believe in all that star-sign hokum.

For if I did, apparently: “Libra woman wants Scorpio to control her, teach her fortitude, and, simultaneously, cannot be totally subdued by them, always remaining willful and independent in her heart.”

And what’s more: “Libra woman may take her boundless charisma and charm as both her main weapon and her main gift for her beloved man. With her smile and kind words, she can get from Scorpio more than with ultimatums or with unmurmuring silence.”

In return: “Scorpio man can teach the flabby Libra woman lessons on achieving goals, fearlessness, and commitment.” And in the end “there are strong, peaceful relations based on respect and love for each other between a Scorpio man and a Libra woman who correctly understood their purpose”. Hmm, I’m not sure how “peaceful” relations would be if I referred to any of my family women as “flabby”.

Leaving aside the perennial question of how on earth did astrology ever become a multi-million industry, “birthday season” always give me cause to ponder some fundamentals.

The biggest of these for me is do we give enough time and devotion to those we really love? Do money, work and their associated stresses and fripperies prevent us from focusing on what matters? Yep, old chestnuts, and rhetorical for me, because I know the answers are “yes”.

That need to provide the basics and more (as what constitutes ‘basics’ gets stretched) is so strong that one can lose sight of why, and more importantly, for whom, one is providing.

Top of the list for me are my daughters, the younger of whom was 16 yesterday. As I revelled in the love she shared with family and friends I realised that there’s one thing that no-one – friend, family, doctor, teacher or astrologer - tells you about parenting: how much you learn from your children.

So to my two 16-year-olds (for one week only – they are 51 weeks apart!), a public thank you for reaffirming in me the value and meaning of unconditional love; for helping me understand that by letting go a little, families stay together; that new and modern does not always mean worse; that we are all but tiny grains of ‘couth couth’ (sic); that sometimes we need be on receive, not transmit; for reminding me of the joy of “just because…”, and that in a world divided up into radiators and drains, I am very, very lucky indeed to have two such wonderful and warm radiators.

Twitter.com: @stefanohat

Stefano Hatfield is editorial director of London Live

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul
 

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living