It has been a few trips around The Sun since we last checked in with The Beandricks family. The seasons have changed, the children have grown and their story has continued to evolve. Throughout their peaceful village they have experienced many new adventures with each passing day: reuniting with friends both old and new, discovering and creating opportunities at every turn, and fearlessly and proudly collecting a few new scrapes and scars along the way, proving they could tackle the unknown.
Perhaps most importantly, of course, are the lessons they’ve collected along the way. Nora, in her creative endeavours has taken to arts, exploring all mediums. Audrey, in the proudest of fashions, united with the other townsfolk in classic field games and the athletic sport of soccer. Alison, the ever-patient and loving matriarch, has continued to grow her practice and establish her expertise within the occupation therapy landscape; this in addition to balancing the scales of time between family, work and play for the entire Beandricks clan. And then, of course, there is Father Phillip, a now published author who continues to observe and absorb the love provided by those closest to him. He continues to appreciate moments as they happen, jotting down what he can, so as to never forget that he, too, is always learning and growing within this world.
Lesson Seven, In which father considers consequence
Trips into town were a common occurrence, and with each trip came the pomp and circumstance of exiting the homestead and piling into the family chariot. It had become a habit that, on each venture, the children had specific requirements for how they would ready themselves, in which order they would climb into their seats and, most curiously, which door they would enter through, climbing over obstacles and making the event seemingly more difficult and time consuming than most would consider necessary. The additional requirement of carrying a stuffed animal on board, caused recent frustration for father, which he didn’t at first comprehend as they prepared to leave on their journey…
“Daddy! I brought the wrong stuffy, please don’t go yet!”
“What do you mean, my love? You have a stuffy with you right now, we don’t need another one.”
“No, dad, it’s not the right one, please let me go get the right one.”
“Sorry, dear, but it doesn’t matter which stuffy you have. It’s time to go.”
And to her sister’s defence, the older sibling replied:
“But daddy, don’t you see that it matters to her?”
Lesson Eight, In which father discovers the present
It was nearing the end of a lovely week in which Father took a break from work to spend time with his family. They spent their time exploring new lands, paddling the Grand and doing the things they generally love most.
As the final day of rest came upon them, he began to lament what lay ahead, in which piles of neglected work would await him. In which he would know to be returning to the rough politics, challenging affairs and difficult conversations that required him to need these 7 days of rest in the first place. He let his worries, sorrows and dread for the following day be known. To which Mother simply replied:
“My dear, sweet, marvel of a man, why lose today in thoughts about tomorrow?”
Lesson Nine, In which father glimpses in the mirror
Time around the dinner table is an important part of the day for the Beandricks family. They share the events of their day, discussing the highs and lows, all while enjoying a nutritious and fulfilling meal. This isn’t to suggest that they don’t indulge, but it is important to father that his children appreciate the nourishing components of food, and so before the sweet and the sugar, first must come the savoury. Or at least that’s the intention.
“Dad, I don’t like what we have for dinner tonight, can I please have ice cream instead?”
“Absolutely not. It is important that you eat good food to give your body good energy so you can continue to grow and be strong. something like ice cream will not provide your body what it needs to power your mind or leave you feeling fulfilled. I don’t want you getting into such habits as eating sweets in place of nourishment, and so I will also ask that you please don’t request this again, because my answer will always be the same.”
“But daddy, we saw that you had a cupcake for breakfast this morning”
Lesson Ten, In which father learns to abandon assumption
Personal space and time to oneself are important beliefs in the Beandricks household. Each member is encouraged to take some time to engage in activity and those things that bring joy to the inner self, no matter how that may take shape: exercise, strumming the guitar, time in the yard, or relaxing in the hammock with a book, to name a few examples. This can be a difficult practice for the younger members of the family, who often require further attention, engagement and have no shortage of ways to interrupt with requests to abandon the current focus and take part in their preferred activity.
One day, while father was focused on his writing, the youngest of the clan approached with something on her mind…
“Not now my love, I am focused on my words”
“Please, my dear, not at this moment.”
“Please sweetie, not now”
This pattern continued on, with the edge of temper looming ever-closer.
“But I just want to…”
“Not now! I am not available for whatever it is you wish to do. I don’t want to play any games or swing, or leave my current space. I am busy!”
“But daddy, I just wanted to say that I love you.”
Lesson Eleven, In which father ceases the moment
On the subject of exploring the new and exciting, a recent venture into the outdoors presented Father with a fearful challenge he had yet to face in his many years on this Earth.
Over the calm, still waters of some far away lake, the family paddled up to an island, where a 10 foot rock face jetted out into deep waters. It was, as anyone could attest, the perfect setting for safe jumping into the cold waters on a hot day. Nora, the adventurous one in the family, immediately expressed her desire to take the first plunge. Father, not one for heights, quickly objected.
“Sorry, but I do believe it’s too high and too scary, my dear.”
“It’s not too scary for me, though, daddy.”
“Well, then you’re not old enough, my love.”
“How old do I need to be?”
“Well, I am into my 40th year, and I have yet to make such a jump.”
“So then, daddy, if I do it today then I won’t have to wait as long as you did.”
Lesson Twelve, In which father slows down
In a call back to the eighth lesson, where Father brought his thoughts back to the present moment, further learnings came about on the value of how we spend our time; this time from his youngest on the evening before a return to work.
“Dad, tomorrow is supposed to be a very nice day and there will be a face painter and special fair taking place. Can we please go together?”
“I am sorry, my love, but Daddy needs to go back to work tomorrow.”
“But daddy, the fair is only for one day. Won’t work always be there?”
With each passing day father continues to take in the love and lessons from his family, taking time to notice the moments and remind himself on the importance of being present. There will undoubtedly be many more opportunities for him to grow and evolve. Through all them, he revels in the pride of his children for who they are becoming, appreciative for the patience and encouragement received from his bride, and is grateful for the love they all provide. Surely this will not be the last we hear from them.