I like pictures, and in this one, the basket reminds me of the punnets strawberries were packed in back in those years before everything came in plastic.
As a child a basket of fruit like this one would have caused tremendous excitement in our house. We were not well off as some may have been but, richer than many children today, our Mum was very ill when I was six, and she heard the doctors telling the nurses that she wouldn’t see the next morning, she prayed in her hospital bed that The Lord would let her live to see her children grown; a prayer which he heard, my Mum saw her 81st birthday and raised us well. She was never able to go out to work, as other Mums did, but was always there for us at home, we were rich because we were loved; rich because Mum and Dad stayed together and taught us to love and care for each other and our pets.
Bedtimes had their own little ritual. Us children would go upstairs, then Mum, Dad came up last of all. He would tap on each bedroom door and say “Goodnight, God Bless.” and there was always the same answering chorus, in unison,
“Goodnight, Dad, God Bless. Is the dog in his basket, is the cat in?”
My Dad of course would always say that yes Paddy was in his basket, and Maggie, the cat safely returned from her evening patrol, otherwise none of us would have slept.
As children we were never smacked a word was enough, and we never heard our parents swear.
The world has changed. There are so many stories now of children being abused, of parents abusing one another…. And often, so very often children don’t have married parents, some seem to have a new Dad every few months or so, and although they may have the latest devices and toys, I feel their short childhoods are so very much poorer than mine was.
My Dad, didn’t attend Church, but did you notice the “Goodnight, God Bless”?
I think that is another way in which today’s children are poorer.
The chain has got broken, many Mum and Dads no longer have faith, and schools no longer teach the way they did. When our church was without a vicar for 4 years, the other churchwarden and I made sure the primary school children from the school down the hill were always welcome, the two of us showed them around, answered questions, made sure the Christmas Tree was decorated and lit for their Carol Services; now we have a vicar and the number of school requests for visits and services has grown quite beyond our expectations. The fruit I feel of time, well spent,
If only one day when a little boy has grown up his last words every night are
“Goodnight, God Bless.”