I ’ve been thinking a lot about the expectation of an exchange: you help me move house, I’ll buy you pizza and beer; you babysit, I’ll do the same for you another day.
I had thought it rare that people do things for others without expecting anything in return. I’ve been wrong. People have done things for me, particularly since I became a parent, when I couldn’t offer anything back but friendship and gratitude.
Acts of kindness and generosity have come without judgement, even though I’m judging myself, feeling I should be able to do it all. They come not as an offer I can refuse, but as a statement of how it’s going to be. There is kindness and generosity and community all around, if you slow down enough to let it in. Summer has well and truly arrived, and I’ve barely stopped to look forward to the holidays. Weekdays have had the usual rhythm of childcare drop-offs, quiet days working alone, and happy reunions in the afternoons.
I’ve been so grateful for this bunch of people who care about you and me and our family, who join me in a laugh or a winge, who let it pass if I struggle to make conversation when my mind is making its way back from somewhere else. Often these are the only adults I talk to all day and they’ve made this a much happier year for me too.
Jenny and Grandpa are hosting Christmas this year. It’s going to be huge. A proper hot sunny suburban modern blended family Australian Christmas.
This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I’m supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund. Thanks to my family, my friends, our childcare centre and my daughter for being part of this podcast. Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Sidewalk Chalk by Broke For Free; Ink and Lifted by Dexter Britain. Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License: Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free. US listeners, support the series and eat well! Hello Fresh is my first sponsor. Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins! Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch. We’ll be back late in January after the summer break, ready for a new year. From all of us to all of you, happy holidays!