My children’s school recently held a “Harmony Day” where they all celebrated the community’s cultural diversity.
There was a mini costume parade at the school, and friends and family were invited to a multicultural picnic on the oval. A simple and casual event, with an excellent attendance!
I promised the kids that I’d be there.
The last couple of years I’ve been very non-committal and uninvolved with school events. I’ve just been too busy with work, life, and it’s tricky when I have a baby/toddler to look after. I’ve been happy to help with money and permission slips, but not my time. Ha isn’t that just the usual story?
I suppose for the kids, the school community is their life. They get so excited about upcoming events, and man, when they can’t be a part of it, the look of sadness and disappointment on their faces is enough to bring any parents to their knees. Oh the guilt.
Anyway, I thought I’d try a bit harder for this event.
Our family is a mishmash of cultures – Australian, Chinese, Scottish, English and Singaporean. I made a huge dish of Asian-style noodles, I put together Australian-style pavalovas, and we sat on a Scottish-styled tartan picnic rug, while drinking a hot cup of English Breakfast tea and orange juice.
I even made an effort to wear a Chinese-style silk top with a blossom print, and one of my sons wore Chinese silk pyjamas while playing cricket. It was very cute.
I sat there on the rug, on the grass, in the beautiful sunny weather, surrounded by hundreds of other smiling families and children from all over the world, and I wondered how I ever came to a point where I had to be driven by guilt to make myself be a part of this.
Then I laughed at how mothers are. Feeling guilty for feeling guilty.
I let the thought slide and was decided to enjoy the rest of the picnic.
The children were so happy, in a “I’m so proud of you mum” kind of way.
And I guess I was too.