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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Negotiator - OTE £23,000

£13500 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning, Bolton base...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: the SNP’s ‘fundamental problem’, says Corbyn, is that too many people support it

John Rentoul
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai  

China has exposed the fatal flaws in our liberal economic order

Ann Pettifor
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future