This has been one of the most relaxing weekends Lewis and I have had for awhile now. Really not due to popularity (more so just a busy life at the moment), we have had our weekends booked up with wedding planning, birthdays, work, uni and trips to Toowoomba - basically just something on every time. It has been exhausting (but fun!), and we've both been saying how excited we are for next year when we have no concrete commitments... yet.
This weekend, however, has been a delightful "stop". From Friday afternoon to Monday morning it has been booked out solidly with house sitting for our dear friends. So we have been watching over this amazing house, and this house happens to come with two of the most beautiful young teenagers I've ever encountered. They are a sister/brother combo who have perfect manners, are considerate, funny, clever, chatty and go out of their way to make YOU (yes, US.. invading their house for the weekend and at least 10 years older than them!!) feel comfortable and at home. The weekend, so far, has been spent playing card games and watching movies; enjoying a tea and a book while they do assignments and play sports; curling hair and painting nails while talking weddings; pancakes and cold rock (while still making sure they get nutritious foods!!); race car tracks and mario cart. Today shall be reading altogether, mowing the lawn, baking and then settling down for the rugby (football??) this afternoon.
Obviously I'm not completely blinded by love for this pair. Children of any age are still children, still little human beings, that have mood swings and tantrums etc, and so I know they would not be peaches and cream every second of every day. Every time we get to spend time with them though, they amaze us at how socially comfortable and adept they are, and how at ease they are with company much older than them. I also realise that one weekend is just a minuscule amount of time to understand what real parenting is like, but I still have to say... they are divine.
They throw 'pleases' and 'thank-yous' around constantly and ask if you'd like to join in on any activity they may be doing. They make sure you know how to play a certain game and they go out of their way to help you pick it up and do well. They ask about your life; what you're doing and how everything is going, and want to know about you. They are not shy, nor are they too boisterous and won't let you get a word in. Always asking you what YOU would like to do or what YOU would like for lunch or dinner.
Now, although I put a lot of their 'perfectness' down to their personalities being just so lovely, I have to say that a lot of where this comes from must be their amazing parents. To be a good parent takes so much time and effort, so to be a great one must be a constant effort with all of your time devoted to your little ones, especially when they're not so little anymore and their own opinions start coming through, and that's only scraping the surface. Our friends have done a constant, amazing job with their children, and we tell them that every time we're lucky enough to get to spend time with them all. I am forever saying that I'm going to kidnap their children, seeing as they've done all the hard work so far and moulded them into considerate, kind-hearted young people, so all I have to do is reap the benefits!
I suppose the moral of my "story" is that a lot of people take parenting so very lightly; become parents quickly with no thought to the immense job ahead of them that is for a very long time - if it ever ends. My father says he still wakes up worrying about us all, just hoping that we're happy, doing what we want to be doing and not making mistakes!! Some parents don't take their job as a role model seriously and so go about being a bad example for their young, impressionable children.
These friends of our's are some of the most amazing parents I have come across, along with my parents, Lewis' mother and my sisters. I only hope that one day, when we're blessed to have our big family(!), that we have taken lessons from those around us, and raise our's in a similar fashion. We should be so lucky...
I must finish here as Lewis, Sarah and Matt are starting the blueberry muffins and I don't want to miss out on this! I want to soak up every minute of this delightful weekend before it's over and we return to our busy life...