Mending Humpty

In our family of six children, six separate parents are represented. I’m not glib with this fact; indeed it is something of a sacred truth which we discuss freely within our home, less often as the years pass, but rarely outside our home unless circumstance demands. Sacred might not be the word that all of us would choose; but it to me it describes the wonder of a family.  No matter how it is formed, conventionally or otherwise, by blood or by choice, any family is amazing in it’s diversity, its interactions, it’s potential for love.

The last few days in Paradise have been delicious with several of our children coming and going, meals cooked and spare beds filled, a newborn soothed and held, a great deal of laughter, more than one of those nourishing, adult conversations one has with adult children, and – for me – an immense satisfaction akin to a jigsaw puzzle falling into place.  That’s a poor analogy because unlike my Favourite Wife I find jigsaws more than a tad boring; but I do know intimately the journey of each piece in our family, and this weekend I’ve been sometimes spellbound watching the pieces fit together.  This mob, this odd collection.  Little One (I still can’t find a better name, even though it no longer fits at all) has Down syndrome, as I have written before. Another of our children has Autism.  I am a clean skin but my son has tattooed and pierced himself to a startling degree! Our tastes, our background, our choice of music, our favourite films, our interests, our dislikes! We are all so different, but we are together.  Just how we fit so well is hard to pin down, but it does seem to me that some of the most beautiful moments come from unlikely pairings.  This is the jigsaw effect: one person’s difficulty seems to match perfectly with another’s ability, or very often one will provide the exact humour needed to ease the tension the rest of us have created over some matter or other.  The need of one child brings out the most wonderful love in another; or the one you are currently worrying about the most comes up with exactly what everyone else failed to supply; qualities emerge, wisdom is shared, bonds are deepened.  Forgive me this fawning familial introspection… we began this year with three grandchildren, and we will end the year with twice as many!  It’s no wonder that there is a certain buzz about the place and a touch of pride in my heart.

All this … at Easter.  It is a beautiful time of year and I hold faith that Easter’s message of forgiveness, grace and resurrection is more valued in our home than the breaking of eggs. A great deal of chocolate has been consumed in Australia today; $185,000,000.00 worth according to The Age.  And, yes, a small part of Cadbury’s fortune did come from our family coffers. It’s also a time of year graced with a great many public holidays, which was the topic of today’s lunch time conversation.  The astounding fact is that we only have to work three days this week, indeed only TWO days in one case!  As for me; as a gentleman of leisure it’s another opportunity to get into the workshop and make something.  One of my favourite jobs (as against wives – there’s only one Favourite there) is that of Father and Fixer.  I gave my son – our newest father – a Leatherman knife for his birthday yesterday as a first step towards the level of practical accomplishment that is essential to keep a family in order. A father is expected by his children, and rightly so, to fix anything! Absolutely anything at all, even a budgerigar. On a calm Saturday afternoon I occasionally delve into a collection of broken toys, crockery, jewellery and precious knick-knacks; mix up some Araldite and carefully put things back together.  It’s surprising just what can be mended.




6 thoughts on “Mending Humpty

  1. Stephen Paterson

    Rod I am thankful to god that you are able to share your precious moments with us and share that wisdom that only comes from god not only with your ‘mob’ but with us.
    It’s at times like this that I wish my family was as faithful ,but I realise there is still hope.
    Would love to see you one day

  2. Nada humphries

    Hi Rod. This is such en enlightening story of your wonderful family and the more I thought about it the more I realised it’s all to do with yours and Karen marriage, your love and devotion to each other despite crippling circumstances has been the rock to your very “successful” humpy family. Your marriage and commitment is the reason it works and at the very top of the ladder is Our Lord and these two factors have driven your family where it stands today. 💝

  3. Anne Marie Jonas

    Rod, my Mum used to say about her and her 8 siblings – if you listen to our stories we all had different parents and upbringings!! As with your family when together they all “fit”.
    Also, Mum was a dab hand with the araldite – a great skill.
    Do you do any welding?
    AM xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s