Why I love kids!

Dear Rose,

Please forgive me for my tardy blogging – I think you’ll find I’m in good authorial company but I guess that doesn’t console you….anyhow here I am. ferretcov

Yesterday, I did an author stint at the Royal Children’s Hospital. It was through an organisation called the Koala Kids Foundation. They bring in authors to do readings and craft with kids who are receiving treatment for cancer. There’s the flyer for my session ->

I arrived super early because I didn’t want to be late – so I sat in the general waiting area for about 40 minutes reading and occasionally observing passersby. In that time, I saw two unrelated kids – a little girl about four in a tutu playing chasey with her Dad and a little boy in a stroller biffing his Mum with a balloon and giggling. It struck me that these kids were either sick or had a sick sibling and yet they were happy… living in the moment.

And that’s the thing I really love about kids (and animals) is that they’re not worrying about what’s ahead of them, they’re just enjoying (or lamenting) that single moment that they’re in. We adults call it mindfulness. Whatever you call it, I think it’s the key to life.

cookie

In the cancer ward, I had five participants on and off over the two hours I was there. They were all happy to be distracted by my craft activity which was to make a pet of your choosing. The Koala Foundation had provided loads of nifty things – polystyrene balls, feathers galore, coloured paper and felt, textas, googly eyes, etc. The end result was a triangle guy, a pussy cat, two flamingos and a butterfly.

The worst bit was when the kids got called away for their chemotherapy. Of course, they’d all have preferred to stay crafting (who wouldn’t) and it was a bit heart-breaking watching them go.

But in those minutes they’d been crafting, they’d been distracted and engaged for a time – and I think that’s something.

Being grateful for good health is not really something we think about – until we have to. But, trust me, it’s something to be very grateful for…and being at the Royal Children’s yesterday made me incredibly grateful for my two beautiful, healthy daughters.

Yep, you’re one 🙂

Love you, Mum xo

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About Heather Gallagher

Heather lives in Ocean Grove with her beautiful family and a dog called Pip. She has a passion for quirky stories. Her first book, Ferret on the Loose, was published in 2013 and was recently listed on the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge. The book was inspired by a girl and her ferret, who Heather interviewed while working as a freelance journalist for The Sunday Age. Her column, Yak Attack, ran in the Kids View section for more than a year and allowed Heather to profile people she thought would be of interest to kids. In 2014, she released her first picture book Happy Pants – Why is mummy so sad? This is NOT a story about ferret racing. Rather, it is a heartfelt story about a boy grappling with his Mum’s post-natal depression. Heather’s stories for children have appeared in black dog books Short & Scary anthology and Explore and Challenge magazines. Heather has experience in public speaking – both for children and adults. While, promoting Happy Pants she spoke to groups of counsellors, nurses, parents and at library events. She has presented writing workshops to primary-aged children. Last year, she was a presenter at the Sacred Edge festival and the Christian Writers’ Conference.
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