A grandmother from Chichester has taken the unprecedented step of speaking publically of the unqualified admiration she feels towards the manner in which her daughter has chosen to raise her children.
‘Sarah just does such a faultless job,’ said Mrs Fiona Blamire, proud grandmother to Tyler and Amali, names she admires for their modernity and individuality. ‘She’s firm but fair, loving but disciplined and I have absolutely no suggestions as to how she could improve her quite brilliant maternal prowess. If anything, she has caused me to reflect upon my own shortcomings as a parent, something we’ll be discussing in detail next time I babysit the kids.’
Mrs Blamire was fulsome in her praise of all aspects of her daughter’s parenting, but reserved particular regard for Sarah’s diligence regarding the children’s safety. ‘She’s absolutely right to be cautious about where she draws the line between freedom and over-protection,’ said Mrs Blamire as she enjoyed the chicken soup Sarah had cooked from the traditional family recipe, although it was much improved for her inspired addition of some tarragon.
‘When you think of all the unnecessary risks we took with our children in a world that was just as dangerous then as it is now, it makes me shudder. We’d often let her and her brothers go out all day on their bikes – without ever putting them in helmets or knee-pads I might add – and never spare a thought for who they might encounter, nor the possibility of a road traffic accident. And I’m sure Sarah would never accidentally let her 10-year-old get a bit tipsy at her cousin’s wedding. We were borderline child-abusers by comparison.’
Sarah was delighted by her mother’s tribute, but was quick to return the compliment. ‘I can’t thank Mum enough for a happy and well-balanced childhood that has prepared me well for the rigours of adult life,’ she said. ‘When I reflect upon my upbringing, I can’t think of a single quarrel with the decisions my parents took, all of which were for my own good and helped to shape me into the woman I am today. And I find their wealth of anecdotes about theirs and their friends’ lifetimes not only an invaluable chance to draw from their fascinating experiences, but also to reflect on how much better the stories become with each rendering.
‘Of course I’m thrilled to receive this public recognition and it’s been the cherry on the icing in a week where my mother-in-law wrote me that lovely note to tell me that I was almost ‘too good’ for her only son.’