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Alexander Residence: Play Therapy Little Legacy 14/The Gallery

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Play Therapy Little Legacy 14/The Gallery

My mum worked as a playtherapist for the NHS. This month the British Association of Playtherapists sent a copy of her obituary, which they published in their magazine.  It was beautifully written and I am so grateful for it, but it wasn't easy to read. I don't know if you have ever read an obituary of someone you know. I hadn't. Obituaries are a glorious celebration of life and achievement, but as a document they feel so black and white, so final.

I am only just realising the impact mum had on the lives of so many families and children. Mum tended to play down her work, (just noticed the pun there, ridiculous but I'm keeping it). Through play, mum guided hundreds of children and families through difficult times.

My mum played tirelessly. It seemed to be effortless for her to get down to a child's level and be led by them. I've met few people so childcentred in their approach.  After teaching for many years she found her true vocation in play therapy.

This week I tried to take my son to pre school gymnastics. He took one look and ran out the door. At first I tried to pull him back, listening to some seriously dodgy, old school parenting voices in my head, saying I mustn't let him give up and that it was wrong to let him get away without trying.

And then I heard my mum's voice saying 'childcentred'.  So I followed him outside and let him swing in the railings. It wasn't gymnastics, but it was an impressive kind of parkour.  In fact I think he could be the next pre school parkour champion. Before long he had started digging and found a worm. Then a ladybird crawled across my bag and we sat together passing it back and forth between us giggling as it tickled us.

The sort of activities my mum absolutely relished. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of parenting voices, but this week I found my anchor.

Mum teaching L to search for insects


Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by predecessors. Feel free to link up a little legacy you've been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments. Here's the code and here's more on Little Legacy.

Pop over to the The Gallery at Sticky Fingers where the theme is inspirational people.

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At 13 October 2011 at 19:26 , Anonymous Claire said...

What a lovely post. She sounds like an amazing woman. Lovely pix too.

At 14 October 2011 at 08:23 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post and what a beautiful person your Mum is (and I say is x)in every sense.

Bug hunting one of my favourites, enjoying the simple and wonderful that are around us and that lovely ladybird perhaps a little message that you had done the right thing.

That is the way I like to look at anyway xxx

At 14 October 2011 at 08:39 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opps I am not admin! Sorry hadn't changed my name on the back of wordpress :-)

At 14 October 2011 at 13:52 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thanks Claire and Ali.
Ali, I'm not religious or superstitious, but you are absolutely spot on, sometimes it does feel like the signs are there. Or maybe when we open our minds we see things we might not have seen otherwise? xxx

At 14 October 2011 at 20:49 , Blogger Becky Goddard-Hill said...

She certainly shaped you to be a good mum how precious these pere school play days are youhave to grab these shared moments as treasures. Shes cetaily left a good legacy

At 16 October 2011 at 11:45 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

inspirational - love the fact she's there guiding you back, enjoy the insects sounds much more fun than gymnatistics.

At 16 October 2011 at 22:41 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thanks Becky and Gemma xx

At 17 October 2011 at 14:31 , Blogger KatGotTheCream said...

This brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eyes. This is how we keep people alive, by remembering the things they said and did.

Kateonthinice suggested I link up to Little Legacy, which is a lovely idea, i've just discovered.

Your mum was clearly a very lovely and special person x

At 25 October 2011 at 19:52 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely post. I'm really interested in play therapy, and think it's a shame more parents don't see the great value of play with their children, and not just children with specific problems. Your mother sounds like a great lady!

At 31 October 2011 at 20:51 , Anonymous Mummy Matters said...

You are really tugging on my heart strings with this one, I bet your mum was looking down on you with a huge smile on her face. This is a great lesson for us all to remember, some of the best days i Have spent with my children are the days where we have just played outside with whatever we can find. Children learn so much through pay, I wish I could have met your Mum she sounded amazing!


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