The Good Thing About Traffic Jams…

… is that they can stir up long-forgotten memories. This afternoon it took 4 changes of traffic lights to be able to get through an intersection. Normally, that would be enough for steam to start rising from my head and flames to start shooting from my eyeballs.

Not today though.

I found myself slowly crawling along past a park I usually see several times a week but never take notice of… And yet today I found myself with the time to actually look at it. Doing so brought back a memory – one that made me smile even though it also brought tears to my eyes.

When my brother and I were much younger – I think I was 7 and he was 4… so nearly 25 years ago!! – we attended a birthday party for a family friend. A ‘lolly hunt’ is a quintessential Australian tradition whereby Minties and Fantails are hidden all over the park (in trees, under bushes, in the grass and all other manner of hiding places) and the kids run around finding as many as they can and the winner is the one who finds the most lollies.

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I remember my brother and I running around collecting lollies and when the music stopped, all the children came back and we formed a circle to count our winnings.

The next bit is what made me smile and cry at the same time.

My brother counted his lollies and I helped… Until he realised that some of his were rocks and pebbles wrapped in the lolly wrappers. Obviously a joke on the part of the party planners but it made my brother so upset that he was holding on to my arm and crying, telling me he wanted to go home.

In that moment I remember feeling so fiercely protective of him and angry at the fact that he had been hurt. I gave him a hug and took all the wrapped rocks and replaced them with lollies from my own stash. We dried his eyes and I didn’t leave his side for the rest of the party. As a child, you don’t think about the importance of sharing and giving but I just remember hating to see him upset and wanting to do anything I could to make him feel better.

These days we’d fight and squabble over anything and everything but the clarity of that memory today reminded me of how important family is and how proud I am of my family. And how, even if we forget to say it, we love each other unfailingly.

Remembering this has made me feel strangely melancholy but sometimes that is necessarily to put focus onto the important things in life. I can be who I am and achieve anything I want to because I have 3 people in the world who love me no matter what. Win, lose or draw, they’re my number one fans and I am theirs.

For all the times we forget or get swept up in our own lives, take a moment today to tell your family how much you love them and appreciate them.

It took the traffic jam today to focus me onto something I’d long since forgotten and that something reminded me of the fierceness with which I would protect my brother, even now that he’s grown, married and doesn’t really need me anymore šŸ™‚

Xx

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