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A week left to Christmas Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with the news of a new arrival! Congratulations to my friend Trevor and his girlfriend Tanya on the birth of Gracie who arrived bang on her due date, apparently without any complications or issues. It’s fair to say that all at the Vokes household are quite excited and can’t wait to meet her! I think that this also significantly pretty much wraps up my close friends in terms of those who hadn’t had children. I think virtually everyone I speak to on a regular basis is now a parent! I think there is no greater job in the world than bringing a new life into the world, and then supporting it, and helping it to flourish into a bright young person. The whole parenting thing might seem like a fairly basic concept at first, show them right from wrong, teach them manners and all that… but in reality it’s a much more delicate and intricate journey, quite literally the butterfly effect at its absolute extreme. The smallest things when they’re little can shape them as they’re growing and even into their adult life, in both positive and negative ways. For years whilst growing up I had a fear of the dark, no logical explanation, and yes of course I grew out of it, but something somewhere along the way, and presumably at a very young age, had created that fear. Fears themselves are funny things, completely irrational and totally learnt behaviour, yet we give in to them and let them take over our life. Spiders are a perfect example, as no-one is scared of spiders when they’re born, and rarely scared of them as toddlers, they learn to be scared from seeing the reactions of others when a spider has been spotted, in a kind of “If the adults are scared then surely we must be too” kind of logic. THat fear then instills itself and is then passed on to the next generation… and based on what? Experience? Being bitten? Or nothing more than copying the adult?

Yes this whole parent thing is a minefield, and when people tell me that bringing them from newborn to toddler is the easy bit, I start to believe them! Its a fun journey though, and I am glad I am finally on it, and wish my friend good luck with the start of his journey. Quite literally anything can happen, and often does!

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