Thursday, 14 February 2013

Elephant saver

We have such power as parents. We influence daily, we persuade, cajole and they watch and mimic. Our children want to be like us when they are 4 and 7, they want to please us and they copy our interests and hobbies.

"When I grow up I want to be an elephant saver!" A said on my return from Africa, having told her all about the elephant orphans and the fantastic work of the Sheldrake Wildlife Trust.

My heart swelled. I could imagine A living in Kenya, caring for baby elephants and becoming an advocate for the trusts work. I could imagine being worried as a parent when I hadn't heard from her in a while. I imagined she would tell me of horrors, sadness as well as success and joy in her work. And I would be so proud, as secretly I would like to save the elephants as well. And live in Africa.

"What would you like to be when you grow up P?" I turned to P, expecting a similar answer.

"I would like to be a baker and bake cakes for your antenatal classes, because you are not a very good cake baker and then you wouldn't have to buy them!" she replied in earnest.

"Very true, I am a terrible cake maker, cakes for my antenatal classes would be very useful, thank you P," I agreed, grinning at her hilarious aspirations.

"And I want to be a farmer and look after the animals, and have a very good dog. And I will be a dog walker," she carried on.

"And a pop star. I want to be famous!" P exclaimed.

"Really darling? I think you should stick with the very good dog walking and baking cakes for my classes." I said influencing her whole-heartedly - refusing to entertain the thought of a Britney Spears in the family.

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