Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wish list

If I could give Hannah anything in the world I wish she could grow up in a world where she would be loved and accepted and valued for who she is, where she would have the opportunity to explore all options and be supported in striving to be the best she could be in whatever it is she wanted to do and where things worked out fairly according to merit rather than according to who you know or what superficial appearance you have.

The world, however, is not like that so her father and I hope to give her the gift of resilience and self-confidence forged through unconditional love, clear boundaries, encouragement and support as she learns about the world and develops her skills, a genuine love of learning (as distinct from mere academic success), a love of animals, a clear set of values, and protection from those whose words and actions erode self-esteem.

We are fortunate to live in a country like Australia where everyone - especially those on the way to owning their own home and earning at least the average annual income - have enough to survive materially. No matter how much one has, there will always be someone who has a bigger income, more expensive clothes, a nicer house, and so forth. The path to true happiness is when one learns to be happy and make the best with what one has rather than always wishing for more.

Our family has benefited enormously from the generosity of others, particularly other parents who have passed on clothes and other items that their children no longer use. As Hannah, at the grand old age of 17 days, grows out of her first lot of clothes we box them up for the next family who will be able to use them.

While gifts are not necessary for Hannah, we know that we have friends and family who want to mark her birth and support us as parents. So while we are not expecting anything from anyone, the following is a guide for those who want it.

The most useful gifts are the practical ones such as:
  • Huggies nappies (size 5-11kg)
  • Huggies wipes (the refills - we have a dispensing box)
  • Gift vouchers for Target, Kmart, Big W and the like (we always seem to need to pick up something else for Hannah from one of these stores)
  • Gift vouchers for Baby Bunting and Toys 'r' Us (which we can put towards the purchase of larger items as required as she grows)
Or gifts that reflect Hannah's heritage and/or support lifelong learning such as:
  • Hebrew/Yiddish letter puzzles, toys and Jewish books (such as a good English-language children’s version of the Old Testament, children’s Hagadah, guide to the Jewish calendar/festivals, etc)
  • Classic children's books (although her bibliophile parents have already built up an impressive collection - maybe run titles past them)
  • Quality educational toys
Or a donation in Oxfam in Hannah's honour will go to those who need it most and we will get much more joy from this than another unwanted gift:
  • Visit Oxfam Unwrapped and select wish list 622. Oxfam will automatically advise us that you have made a donation in Hannah's honour and you'll receive a receipt that you can use as a tax deduction when you complete next year's tax return.
Thank-you very much but thanks to the generosity of friends Hannah already has plenty of:
  • newborn clothes - if you want to buy her clothes, please purchase size 00, 0 or even lager (she will grow into them). Pure cotton 'grow suits' with press-studs at the front are the best & she (or her parents!) love bright purple and pinks. Clothes marked 'Low Fire Danger' are preferred - please avoid anything marked 'High Fire Danger' (which we've seen disturbing quantities of at various baby stores). Please don't spend a fortune on a designer item she will grow out of in a matter of weeks or months.
  • Sleeping/Grow Bags
  • Blankets
And in obvious news, please, no tacky 'novelty' items such as:

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