From when my four were just tiny babies, toddlers, cute-as-button little ones, complete strangers have enjoyed not only pinching their chubby cheeks and ruffling their fluffy curls in supermarket queues ... but also advising me on parenting methods and sharing their predictions of what lay ahead ... scenes complete with teenage attitude, defiance, door-slamming, raucous music and clearasil.
And though I'm probably not terribly well qualified to comment just yet, with only one having reached the teen years and one six months off, I'm happy to report that so far ... so good. And with enough faith in the foundations we've laid during their younger years, I'm quietly confident that the next few years won't be too taxing. (Feel free to remind of this statement later if need be).
Sarah brought home a friend from school this past weekend. A beautiful young girl who doesn't have the opportunity to go home from one set of school holidays to the next.
She fit in with our crew perfectly. Another unpretentious, sweet, kind young teenager.
Happy to play with the younger kids, much of the weekend was spent on the trampoline.
Left on their own, while Matthew and I went to start cutting posts, they were under strict instructions not to climb trees in our absence.
Which they assured us they wouldn't.
One can only imagine my surprise to find these images on my camera.