It is graduation week in the family. On Monday I attended the graduation ceremony for my adult daughter as she received her recently gained qualification. She studied a course that is only provided by the Open Polytechnic so all her learning was via distance.
The venue on Monday was full of adults of all ages and stages who had somehow managed the incredible juggle of distance study, paid employment, family demands and the usual routines and requirements of every day living. To complete any academic qualification is a feat but to study alone brings even more challenges along the way.
Those of us who had stood alongside the students, supporting them as best we could, were well represented too and we clapped and cheered heartily as the ceremony progressed and the achievements were acknowledged.
Cameras clicked and flashed, a supper was offered to share after all the formalities were completed and we all had a very happy time. My father always said that studying was a burden at the time but the qualification was no weight to carry once achieved. There was evidence of lightness in the gathered crowd of graduates on Monday night.
On Friday this week I will attend another graduation. This time it is for my three year old grandson as he has completed his “Born to learn” programme under the Parents as First Teachers scheme.The invitation sets out an hour or more of fun activities, music, story time, presentation of certificates and a cake to cut. The programme that he and his parents were part of has been a rich mine of learning, sharing, relating and empowering. It has been a wonderful support to the new family, offering another strand in his development and bolstering the foundations of all learning through play.
My weekend was pretty busy with the usual household chores needing attention but more importantly my grandson’s second birthday to attend. His birthday dawned calm, warm and sunny which meant we could spend time outdoors playing as well as enjoy opening presents and eating yummy food inside. It would be impossible not to delight in his interest in almost everything and his high energy. Almost all his immediate family, a couple of adult friends and a special young friend were there to celebrate the day with him. Digital cameras have captured some wonderful pictures of a special day.
He spent a couple of hours on Sunday here while his parents went and had a coffee together. So I enjoyed more time with him, hearing all the new words and short sentences he can say, watching his new gait and increasing ability to balance his body in different activities and as always his inquiring mind.
I love quirky things and in today’s paper I read that a woman in earthquake ravaged Christchurch had been given a bright yellow tea towel and on it was printed ” Life sent your lemons?………make a gin and tonic.” Seemed like good advice given their current situation.
A few years ago I was challenged by someone to consider how I played and had fun. I had a few ideas about what I did but the question piqued my interest about what other adult women did to play and have fun. I sent this question to 18 women of varying ages and I received 10 responses.
Many women reported the following as ways to play and have fun: Music, singing and dancing; reading books or magazines; playing with their own children or other people’s children; enjoying pets; nature based activities, such as beach walking, picking flowers, skipping stones; shopping both browsing and purchasing; spending time with others, having a meal together, sharing experiences, new places to visit, visiting friends, playing tricks and pranks on friends, or simply blobbing out with a preferred person.
Being able to feel free enough to really express ourselves in a joyful happy way without the burden of responsibilities and worries, even for brief moments is a healthy thing to do for ourselves.
Tomorrow I will post a list of other fun and playful things the women mentioned in their replies.