My sixteen-year-old daughter G was upset over something yesterday, but she’s the tough sort of cookie who believes she can solve all her own problems. So she was in her bedroom straight after coming home from school instead of her usual socialising with us (unlike most teens, she prefers to hang out with her parents than lock herself in her bedroom; she even does her homework on the dining table despite having a study desk by the window in her own bedroom).

“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.

“No,” she replied shortly.

After about half an hour, her father knocked on her bedroom door.  “Come and help me tidy up the study,” he said firmly.

He seldom asserts his authority, and whenever he does, she complies immediately. So teary-eyed, she was given the task of dusting books in the study.

These books have travelled the world with us.  They were the books that G was read to when she couldn’t read. Now, she reads complicated novels but these books are still here in our home, despite the fact that we have moved houses so many times.

So there she was, sitting on the study floor with her beloved father, talking together about our family and happy days together. I could see what he was doing: he was reminding her that she will always be fine, because her family will always be there for her. And our family is the true value of life, not the ups and downs of the outside world.

And as we sat there, the three of us laughed at the fact that we still cart around G’s older sister’s dollhouse – Kat is now 28 years old, a happy and secure young woman – and that is because we carry them with us always ❤

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