Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You Are Right Mr Ballard

Inspiration about parenthood can come from the unlikeliest of sources.

From the first chapter of J.G. Ballard's autobiography, Miracles of Life:
"My closest family were an English faimly called the Kendall-Wards... There were three brothers, whom I remember well, but it was the parents who made a powerful and lasting impression on me... he and his wife were free spirits who rarely mixed on a social level with other British residents... The Kendall-Ward home was the complete opposite of 31 Amherst Avenue [Ballard's home], and an influence that lasted all my life... Relations between parents and children were far more formal in the 1930s and 1940s, and our house reflected this, an almost cathedral-like space of polished parquet floors and blackwood furniture. By contrast the Kendall-Ward home was an untidy nest, full of barking dogs, arguing amahs and the sound of Mr Kendall-Ward's power saws slicing through plywood, the three brothers and myself roller-skating through the rooms and generally runing wild. I knew that this was the right way to bring up children. Appearances counted for nothing, and everyone was encouraged to follow their own notions, however hare-brained. Mrs Kendall-Ward openly breastfed her baby, something only Chinese women did.... Her kindness and good nature I remember vividly some seventy years later. I was rarely unhappy at home, but I was always happy at the Kendall-Wards, and I think that I was aware of the difference at the time."

I want to be like the Kendall-Wards.


Mon said...

Me too! lol

Amanda said...

Me, three! This passage made me smile...a really big smile :)

Mel said...

Oh, me four!!! What a fabulous passage and so exactly how things are meant to be!!!

flowers said...

What a fantastic notion! I feel like I "know" Mrs. Kendell-Ward ;-)

Jessica said...

I love the idea of it all... but I wonder if I could do the roller-skating through the rooms thing. That made me cringe a little. hahaha