Because we recently asked Jaylene what it was like living with her mother, she sent us this copy of an essay she wrote for school:
THINGS I LEARNT AT HOME:
For the first twelve years of my life, my mother and I lived alone. Those were peaceful, happy years and everything I learnt, I learnt from her. When she adopted me at the age of nine months old, I was a scared infant that had been abandoned twice. She carried me on her back everywhere she went so that I would learn that I can depend on someone else being there for me.
She is a very organized and skilled homemaker and I used to watch her baking bread and cleaning house from her back. As I grew older she started teaching me homemaking skills that I will use in my own home someday: how to bone a chicken, how to iron the beautiful table linens she was gathering for me in my very own trunk (we call it my ” hope chest”). She let me play my imaginary games for hours by myself. She said the most important thing one needs to be happy, is to know how to enjoy being alone.
My mother was an international lecturer and she taught me about different countries by often taking me with her when she travelled. She set an example of how to manage time well. She used to watch Walt Disney movies with me on her lap at night. But I never saw her waste time. She wrote her books at McDonalds Play Place while I had fun, or on the beach while I built sand castles. She got up early every morning to get chores done before I even woke up. Everywhere my mother went, she showed grace and courtesy. She made something beautiful almost every day and she made people around her happy. We didn’t have a lot of money, but the clothes she bought me at the second hand store, made me feel like the prettiest little girl in pre-school. But most of all I learnt that as we go through life, we can leave the world a better place.