Equally Unique & Special


immense balance and

concentration clearly guides

young attention span

Fun and games.

Has anyone else modified the traditional egg and spoon race to potato and spoon?  That’s how we do it here on the island; a very Irish substitute indeed.

Does it matter that one child might have a smaller-than-other’s potato which is easier to balance on a larger-than-other’s spoon?

My answer is NO, it doesn’t matter.  Potatoes and spoons can vary greatly in size, but at the end of the day it’s all fun and games.  Children are asked to supply their own so it’s no surprise that some choose to their advantage while others choose for greater challenge.

The challenge is a personal one of coordination and balance, of cooperation between mind and body.   Competitive it is, but there’s no title or trophy to win.

That’s not fair.

Gratefully, these words are never grumbled in our home.  Yes, there’s been question as to why things are different for one than another at times, but this happens less and less often as the children come to understand that everyone doesn’t, shouldn’t, and will never get treated exactly the same. 

Hoping to make sound decisions, Johnny and I try to consider everything that has an effect on a situation. Difference in age is weighed.  That said, my age seven child doesn’t have all the same opportunities and consequences as each of his siblings had at that age.  Personality, maturity, strengths and abilities, sensitivities and weaknesses, as well as their history, are all in mind when making decisions.  We treat our children uniquely rather than equally and intentionally give them different privileges, chores, and responsibilities.  

This feels fair to us.  It’s harder and requires more work in the short run than just treating everyone the same.  In the long run, it saves time, increases self-worth, and is more effective at preparing them for adult life.

What’s really being grumbled is ‘that’s not equal, why isn’t it the same for me?’  In reality, this isn’t even what they want.  Children deserve more than being treated the same; they want to feel special and they should be made to feel that way because that’s exactly what they are.

Ron’s Haiku words this week are ‘vast (immense) and clear’.

The photo word of the week is ‘game’.  A new list for 2016 has been compiled by myself and three other writing friends, 

Cathy from Nanacathydotcom

Jane from Rainbow Junkie

Sandra from Wild Daffodil

If combining these two challenges isn’t enough, I also like to keep with my blogs theme of family life on our homefarm in the Aran Islands.  Much to my surprise, I’ve come to realize over the year of doing these challenges, there is an endless amount of material here on Inis Mor to summise in a single photo and seventeen syllables. 

I admit that I often use multiple photos and write a narrative as well, almost always without forethought.  The two are combined resulting in the growth of a new idea.  This challenge is very inspirational and often introspective.  Maybe you’d consider joining in on occasion-either with the haiku poetry, photo challenge, or both combined.  It’s flexible, like fun and games, take it as seriously or as light-hearted as suits you and your own unique personality.

Melissa Xx

p.s. A little addition in response to a comment below 🙂  Yes, potato sack races do follow the potato and spoon races 🙂

potato sack races.jpg


  1. sailimo says:

    Vast expanse of water
    Where land should be.
    When will it clear?

    Not sure if this is strictly within Haiku rules? Have to look them up. I am sure I can find a fitting picture too☺
    And then will put on my blog.
    Thanks for the inspiration, as usual! Mo.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just brilliant! Is this your first haiku? Well done, it’s great craic alright. There’s a link to Ronovan’s blog at the bottom where he gives a thorough explanation on the subject. Though haiku is somewhat flexible, there are some boundaries that help to give it form. Here is a link to the photo words of the week, all 52 of them, if you like to plan ahead–I’m not that efficient 😦 but hey, whatever works for you, no commitment. https://thearanartisan.com/photo-challenge-words-2016/

      And I hear your sentiment… the earth is like an over saturated sponge all over the island, though worse on the mainland. How are you holding up? Have you ordered new seeds yet? So looking forward to doing that myself. 🙂


      • sailimo says:

        We are high and dry. Looking at devastation around us but not near. Have received seeds even already! Was never that early but organic centre has half price selection in December. Still have to look at Seed Savers. Top up a few. Have you garlic planted? Anything in tunnel now?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Garlic and onions already coming up, warm enough in Nov and Dec that I half expected flower bulbs to be shooting up too. Our tunnel cover is off since end of October. Lettuces are under mini tunnels. We’ll put it back on in Feb; thought it a good idea to let the ground breathe between recoverings. It certainly has plenty of natural rainfall! We added on two more hoops so more space to grow…very excited. Will miss the extra early spring new potatoes that we would have planted at end of Dec in tunnel.

          High and dry is good. Devastating for so many. Could not imagine waist high water in the middle of our home. Feeling blessed and so happy to hear that you are doing ok too.

          Liked by 2 people

    • My day is almost over now as darkness is upon us already and the streetlights are flickering on. It was a lovely and calm day alright. The sound of Legos in a bucket swishing between little fingers is what I’m listening to right now. 🙂

      Off to the kitchen to continue with dinner. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not sure anything was decided about a review, I would like to do one though – my laptop has been out of action, i tried and failed on the iPad, but I am just putting a review together now – it is fun going through all the entries and getting them in one place. I’m really enjoying sharing this with you and Cathy and Jane.


    • Keeping all you and I said in mind, we do realize there is more than one way to accomplish honoring their individuality–this one really works for us though. Thanks for your encouragement Irene! I always appreciate your warmth and support. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Our school sports day and community sports day always use spud and potato races too – great fun, I agree. And wise words too – you are so right, everyone is an individual:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Back in the States we called it ‘field day’ when we had the school sports and play day…nice memories 🙂

      They do have sports day here but parents don’t attend. This pic is from the annual Pat Rún weekend held in June, It’s a whole weekend, actually last year started with Wednesday eve darts competition which I came in 2nd place for women 😀 . I will try to manage a post on it this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So wise you are! And those wonderful kids of yours are so clever and well adjusted, no worries about ‘what’s fair and what’s not’…they know that the two people piloting their ship are smart and loving one! Does the potato spoon race lead to the potato sack race? best to you and that happy family of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In response to your question I added a photo to the end of the post. Couldn’t get it added in this reply. It’s a whole weekend of events in June. Such a busy time, I would be wise to try and prepare a post well beforehand, note to self 😛 ! I have pictures from the past several years. Adults and child events. Won’t be long now…

      I was out it in the garden today, very exhilarating to have hands in dirt after several months Do you still have snow on the ground? Or should I say, did you ever get snow? My folks said it was a wicked warm December.

      Thank you for your kind words about Johnny and me and the children. It means especially much because you have visited our home and spent time with us. Looking forward to meeting up again when you next cross the Atlantic. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ya, I like how you see that. In a way, these challenges help me to really pay attention to the details of moments and observe others more carefully. Sometimes asking questions to understand better. It enriches the experiences. Hope you are having a lovely Sunday.


  4. Pingback: RonovanWrites 78th #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Review | ronovanwrites

  5. Kids don’t care about potatoes and /or spoons. You’re so right about that. Kids can have fun with anything and that’s one of the things I love about them. I always enjoy the way you combine challenges and stay true to yourself and what you like. Well done as usual. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Photo Challenge Round Up – GAME | Wild Daffodil


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