I went to a dinner gathering last week to welcome in the Jewish new year and wish everyone a sweet new year cycle. I must say if that was the start, we are in for a good one.
It was so wonderful it wouldn’t have been out of place in a Mary Poppins book.
My children were included on the guest list and were the only children at the table but rather than that being a problem, everyone treated them with loving wonder and enjoyment so they felt included and content. Come to think of it, everyone treated EVERYONE with loving wonder and enjoyment.
We talked comfortably, we joked, we teased and for some reason it was just ok to be yourself in that space of 13 people, some of whom had just met.
We had a number of musicians at the table and after we had overindulged on delicious food we began to sing songs. We were collected from three different countries but found all sorts of common songs and laughed and clapped and sang to our hearts content. Different people made suggestions as to what next, we learned new songs from each other and sang and sang…see what I mean about Mary Poppins?
We got home very late and the kids crashed into bed at 10pm on a school night but we all woke up happy the next day.
I was simply going to write a marvellous thank you letter to my dear friend who hosted – with the intention to spend connected quality time with us all I might add – but then I realised I want to share it with you too because…
One of the men at the table is a composer, musician and overall cool guy. My older boy loves to play piano and the morning after I wished I had thought to get them talking a bit so that my child hears from someone who has made music his livelihood – just to open his world. I like to let my children know there are options out there for them.
Then I began thinking about the collection of people there and that’s when I knew I wanted to share this. At the table we also had;
A serious puppeteer who has worked with internationally acclaimed companies, a documentary film maker who comments on current issues to educate and inspire people, an acupuncturist, an environmental consultant for large corporates, a director of theatre who specialises in productions for deaf people, a teacher of music and movement for children, a retired physiotherapist / reflexologist / aromatherapist – now dancer and musician, an open-minded specialist doctor, an architect who runs programmes helping other architects reconnect with their creativity and joy of their profession (if you are, or know, a frustrated architect contact me for her details) and then there was me and my crazy mix of occupations.
Now how is THAT for a smorgasbord to offer your child as a taste of what is out there for him? Everyone at the table is doing what they love. Vocations, not careers. Ok it’s true we were sorely lacking in some left-brained techies and corporate types but we’ll invite them next year. It’s not only arty-farty types that love what they do. Surrounded by people like this my kids get to see they can grow up and do what they love. I’m so excited about that! It’s a far cry from the old-school goals of doctor, lawyer or accountant, don’t you think? Or the classics, “I know you want to study Y but you should study X because you will make more money”, or “What will people think?” …
This is a brave new world. I have heard it said that our children will be working in professions that don’t yet exist. Just to prove this to me, on the way home my 8 year-old son said in the car in a very frustrated tone, “Mama, I want to make a robot powered by water that will do what I tell it to but I don’t have the equipment.”
It is a brave new and totally unimaginable world we are heading toward. It will be our children’s world. Let’s guide them to do what they love so that their world will be wonderful for them.
A sweet new cycle to us all.