Paid collaboration with The Book of Everyone
I can hardly believe Little Miss E is now eight years old. I know it’s a complete cliché but the years really have flown by. It seems like no time at all ago she was a tiny baby being placed in my arms for the first time and I was hit by a rush of overwhelming love as I became a new mother.
The innocent baby and toddler days are long gone; she’s growing into a kind and caring strong-minded young girl now. In some ways she needs me less than she ever did; in other ways she needs me more as she navigates her way through life’s ups and downs. She’s living in such a different world to when I was her age. Life is so much faster-paced these days and there’s a lot more pressure than my generation ever had. Just because I’m older it doesn’t mean I always knows what the answers are; there’s a lot we are facing together for the first time.
However some things never change. As parents our role has always been to do our best to bring up our little ones; equipping them with the skills and judgement to choose the best pathways in life and to make the best decisions. As someone said to me in the early days of motherhood; the greatest gift you can give your children is that of roots and wings – stability and freedom. I find the letting go bit impossibly hard; but I know I have to let her stand on her own two feet. To find her own way in the world. To make her own mistakes. But I want her to know we’ve always got her back.
When The Book of Everyone invited me to create a personalised book of Wise(ish) Words as part of their Three Wise Words of Christmas campaign it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put down into words some of the wisdom I have gained and to create a gift that will stay with her for years to come.
The company is known for its beautiful personalised books for birthdays and other occasions and this new venture is aimed at children aged 8-16. The process of making the book online was so simple. You simply add the recipient’s name plus who the book is from; choose a template and cover; and then pick whether you want sincere quotes or those with a bit more humour. You can stick with the quotes the book has pre-selected. Or alternatively each page has two further quotes to choose from; or you can add your own.
Some of the pre-selected quotes I loved immediately. “You have the power to be a great example.” I say this a lot to her already in terms of her younger brothers and cousins. “Doing what scares you is what gives you confidence” and “It won’t always be easy to do what is right.” Great advice whatever your age.
Others are quotes I added in myself because they mean something to me.
“Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” is something my Grandma used to say to me. Each week she would give me and my brothers her loose change from the week for the three of us to split between us for pocket money. She died when I was 16 but her words are ingrained into my memory forever.
Some of the quotes are wisdom I’ve gained from my yoga practice.
“When you don’t know what else to do just stop and take a few deep breaths. It might not change the situation but it can change your ability to deal with it.”
This is something I remind myself of a lot both in my personal life and when world events get too much.
And also “For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” There are some things that just aren’t worth being upset about.
Miss E is a huge bookworm so I also added in a few of my favourite quotes from children’s literature.
“The more that you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go” from Dr Seuss is one of my all-time favourite quotes. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today if I hadn’t read so much as a child. I’m hoping Miss E’s insatiable appetite for books will stand her in good stead. for the future.
One page has just three words on it though. Three wish(ish) words I really want my daughter to know:
Always be yourself.
I spent a lot of time in my younger years not quite knowing where I fitted in; trying to be different things to make different people like me when what I should really have been doing was being myself and finding the people who liked me for me.
Because while I might not be perfect I am good enough just as I am. And I want my daughter to always remember that too. She is kind compassionate intelligent determined and witty with such a good heart and anyone who doesn’t like her for who she is isn’t worth having in her life.
I found the tears welling up in my eyes while creating this book. Thinking about the lessons in life I wanted to pass on to my daughter was emotional stuff. I sincerely hope the words resonate with her. If not now then when she needs them most. And maybe one day she’ll pass on her own wise words to her children too.
To create your own Wise(ish) Words visit the website.
Prices start from £23.95. Order by 17th December for the product to be delivered in time for Christmas including free shipping.
You can also see The 3 Wise Words for Christmas portrait series. This is a beautiful gallery of photos from award-winning photographer David Boni featuring 30 people who work with children each sharing their own three wise words. The project hopes to shine some light on the words we hold dear for the next generation whilst raising awareness for WellChild; the national charity for sick children.
See all of my children’s books posts here.