A family visit over the Christmas festivities provoked a new look at things.

Two children came in tow with an older relative for a family visit over the festive season.

There wasn’t an option to say no, no opt -out was available. So, the only solution was to embrace the experience and make it enjoyable, make it as much fun as possible for the kids, the visitors and ourselves.

Mouths were fed. Hands washed. Out came the toys borrowed from a neighbour. We didn’t have any anymore.

We started entertaining our young guests. A ball and stick, a bit of space and a large helping of imagination are wonderful things. All it took was a few simple toys.

And then the laughter started. There is nothing like the sound of children laughing.
They were so giggling and joyous, at nothing really, as only children can be. And soon us old fogeys were laughing and genuinely having fun too.

Then some other information came out, something that I had no idea about.

The children had been adopted. Once they had been living on the street, homeless, begging for food in order to stay alive. One of the children was found, aged only 5, collecting bottles off the street to get money to buy food for herself and her parents. Her older sisters had been sold into prostitution. This was soon to happen to her.

It made me look at my own life, my own family circumstances, the people around me.
We were blessed. In ways I had never thought about.

There was enough food, there were clothes, there was shelter, children were born healthy and grew up into happy contributing members of society. We lived in a world that was stable, not war torn, gunned, poisoned with chemicals and burned by the scorched earth policy of an enemy.

There weren’t third generation children born deformed by their grandparent’s exposure to Agent Orange. Religious persecution wasn’t an everyday life or death matter. Living to a ripe old age is normal.

Yes I counted my blessings. And wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too