My husband and I have spent the best part of our evening glueing our kids’ artwork into scrapbooks. Painstaking decisions about whether we can possibly recycle our son’s drawing of our family because the detail in the tree is ever so slightly different to the ten almost exact same pictures next to it. Perhaps this was the one he liked the best?! Perhaps another painting, by our three year old daughter, unfathomable as far as I am concerned, is actually a really amazing insight into her artistic genius and when she’s older it will be worth a fortune so we must find a place for it in the scrapbook even though the glue is running out and we only have five pages left and it’s nine o clock in then evening already and oh God I’m losing the will to live……
And yet. Is it not our duty, as parents in the incredibly lucky position to be able to do so, to give our children the best childhoods we possibly can, complete with collections of their artwork throughout?
And yet, I know, just a seven minute drive away, there is my friend and her son, who are in the midst (one year in, apparently it could take ten) of claiming asylum in the UK, doing who knows what tonight? No TV, no family memory books, no photo albums, no ingredients in the kitchen to whip up a quick cake. Perhaps she is counting down the hours until the next reporting in to the Home Office, which might be the one when they detain her and her son, the first steps to returning them back to the violent situation from which they escaped, but, according to the Home Office there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to prove she is telling the truth, so they are assuming she is lying and never mind if they are wrong.
It is so easy to fill our days with meeting the demands of our family and friends, with our own, and society’s high expectations of ourselves. Which is fine, and indeed I would be a hypocrite if I suggested anything differently. But since this project began, just over three weeks ago, it is amazing that I have somehow, in amongst the demands of my family life and other commitments, moved ahead leaps and bounds with developing the idea of a community cafe in Harehills.
It just goes to show that when you’re inspired by something, you really can pack in an extra hours’s worth of stuff into your day… Look , I’ve just gone and written another blog post and I’ve still got time to empty the dishwasher, fold the clothes and put them away and get the school uniforms out ready for tomorrow….