Inspired by Ticia’s post about why she called her blog Adventures in Mommydom, I thought I would share why I called my blog Angeliscalliwags and why on earth I spell it differently to how the dictionary spells it 🙂
Slightly less than a decade ago I had three five year olds. I knew we would be homeschooling them, and whilst we used ACE as their primary curriculum, I ran a type of book club where I would invite friends over, read some books (for example Thomas the Tank Engine) and then throw a huge day long event focusing on the books. I remember the Thomas the Tank very well as I set up a life size ‘Annie’s Cafe’ in our kitchen (made of huge squares of card I had painted and cut doors and windows from and popped tables and chairs inside), a station shop selling all sorts of Thomas themed produce and the piece de resistance a life sized Thomas train, with Annie and Clarabel being pulled behind. Literally all the children could fit into these trains (made of five foot square tough card held together with wire and covered with brightly coloured paper to mimic the exact look of the famous trains. I then started holding themed parties, from dinosaurs to Egyptians to pirates. Then one day I was asked to design a party for someone else, after which they asked if I would like to go into business with them designing and holding birthday parties.
I was flattered of course, but I know myself too well. The moment something becomes official is the moment I stop enjoying it. So I said no. But around that time I felt God nudging me towards something, only I really wasn’t sure what. Maybe a business of some sort. Maybe a website with ideas, because really, ideas is what I do best. Each night as I sat down to watch a film with Gary I would have my doodling pad next to me and I would doodle away with ideas of what I felt pulled towards. The name angelicscalliwags was the result of all that doodling. And as weird as it sounds I really felt God gave the name to me. Artistically speaking, it looked better to me spelt without the y and with an i instead. More symmetry. At this point I still wasn’t sure what I would use this name for, but I knew it described my children perfectly. They were for the most part gorgeously angelic. Honestly, they were obedient and incredibly well behaved and we received comments about them daily. But they were also scallywags. They were high energy, often mischievous and thoroughly enjoyable to be around. Angelicscalliwags described them to a tee.
Fast forward five or so years and I was still doodling about angelicscalliwags, but had got no further in deciding what to do with it. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma four and half years ago that I began entertaining the thought of a blog. I was scared. The doctors weren’t able to tell me whether or not it had invaded further than the local tissue. That would be a waiting game. Most melanomas show signs of return within two years, but it is one of the trickier cancers as it can return many many years later. On a walk one night, I felt the small, quiet whisper of God telling me that the doctors only knew about one part of my body, He knew about the whole of me. It was clear. I needed to live one day at a time. That was all any of us had. There was no point worrying about what may come six months, two years or even a decade from now. Today is all I have. The crippling terror I had felt at the thought I might leave behind my five young children (the youngest being only 9 months old) began to lift. And a seed of an idea began to take its place.
This seed grew into a fully fledged plan of a blog called angelicscalliwags. A memory for my children, written to my children, so they knew no matter what happened to me, they were loved beyond belief. Angelicscalliwags is a memoir for my very own angelicscalliwags. Four and a half years have passed since that diagnosis. The worry still remains that the melanoma will come back and kill me, but it is a manageable concern. I try not to feed it, but I am also aware that it propels me on. The fear keeps me from taking any part of my life for granted. It helps me to try to make every day that bit more beautiful than the day before. It forces me to make sometimes difficult decision about the contents of that life. And it makes me continue to blog even when I don’t want to any more. Because angelicscalliwags is their story, their memories and a record of their young lives which they will be able to show to my grandchildren.
I very nearly gave up blogging at the beginning of the year. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore because I was trying to make it earn money for me. Gary, in his wisdom, simply reminded me of the reasons I started the blog. He told me to always come back to a place of realisation that this blog is not for me, or for my readers. No. It is first and foremost for my children. Suddenly blogging became something I enjoyed again. My girls eagerly await the Precious Moments post each week, and it is by far my most popular post of the week, but I also continued to record their work. You never know, maybe there will be a next generation of angelicscalliwags who will enjoy reading about their parents’ adventures, and maybe, just maybe, angelicscalliwags.com might give my children ideas to educate their children.
My tag line ‘Homeschooling to give our children roots to ground them and wings to help them fly’ has remained the same throughout. This is the essence of our homeschool. I want to create memories which will last them a life time and ground them hard and fast to who they are, and where they come from. I want them to know deep within their souls just how wanted and loved they are and what a huge blessing and privilege it is to parent them. But I want more than that. I also want them to have the freedom to experience life through their own eyes, not mine. I want them to feel the freedom to express themselves, be true to themselves and become more authentically themselves as each day passes.
Life is one big adventure, but to enjoy it fully, I believe adventurers needs roots to ground them and the freedom to use their wings to seek out and make their dreams come true. Following one’s dreams takes courage, and it is my prayer that Gary and I bring up courageous children, who are willing to change what does not work, and yet have enough joy deep within them to accept those things that can not be changed:
So there you have it. The reason I blog, the reason I chose angelicscalliwags as my blog name and the reason the tag line says what it does. Thank you, as always, for reading. My children might be the reason I blog, but I sure do enjoy the camaraderie to be found within the home school blogging community <3