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Do you keep memorabilia? I do, and now that I have seven boxes of it – and still going – I’m so glad I started collecting this and that and goodness knows what about 35 years ago. At some time or other you may have benefitted by this habit of mine because now and again I rummage around in it all and find something that is not only still a treasure to me but might be to you when you read it after all the years.

I am not sure what this piece is. It’s a kind of promise on someone’s part to themselves and its got to do with the task in our lives in life that is probably more important than anything else we ever try to do to – bringing up our children.    

“Bringing up children is one of life’s most wonderful and most daunting tasks. It takes every virtue known, like patience, resilience, an infinite capacity for forgiveness and a thousand others. While you could say that what follows sounds very idealistic. I think it expresses some worth-while things. Let’s call it a parent’s resolution…

“To reserve time and fresh energy for my children, so that I can be their close and interested friend. To fit my children to meet life and people bravely, honestly and independently. To give my children freedom but to teach them how to use that freedom, so that they will not confuse liberty with license. To show my warm love to my children as well as conscientiously care for them. To manage them with intelligence and affection, and not by punishment, condemnation, fear, fault-finding and nagging. To direct their energy rather than repressing it. To try to understand my children rather than sitting in judgment on them, and through all misdemeanours both trivial and serious to love them steadfastly”.

As I look at the yellowing sheet of paper I rescued from oblivion long ago – and even then it was about half a century old – I realize that the world it came from has become a great deal more challenging and more complex. However as I look at the four now middle aged adults that were once our children, I think that’s what we tried our best to do.