Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.



When you’re a writer you’re not supposed to be lost for words.

I’ve been away for a week- and it occurred to me a few days ago, that in being away from my children, I may not have anything to write about.  What could I teach them, if I'm not even there?

A very important lesson- as it turns out.

I’m currently sitting 36,000 feet in the air, staring at my laptop as I fly home to my sons.  Shortly before take off, the flight crew ran the passengers through the usual cabin demonstration.  I tuned out and was in the middle of musing about the point of rehearsing the operation of life jackets on an overland flight, when they got to the part about oxygen masks.  And this entire week suddenly made sense.

“Remember to attach your own oxygen mask before assisting others”. 

See the thing is, I haven’t been able to teach my boys anything this week, because I’ve been away learning.  I was fortunate enough to attend an extraordinary Tony Robbin’s event and at the risk of making something real sound ‘ra-ra’, I’m not going to try to describe it.  All I will say, is that it was nothing like what I had expected and everything that I needed.

Then to top it all off, in a ceremony that is steeped in over 500 years of legend- I walked across burning coals to the beat of Fijian drums.  Just because I didn’t think I could.

It all might sound a little crazy, but when the boys asked me one night over the phone what I was doing while I was away, I summed it all up with the words:

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I’m growing.

The drinks trolley just went past and I missed it.  I was looking out the window and it has cost me a much needed wine.  I was too distracted staring down at the beautiful land we live in, reflecting that I can’t really ask my sons to learn all the lessons I put in front of them, if I don’t model growth in my own life first.  Secure my own oxygen, before assisting them.

I would apologise for this post being a little boring, except that I really believe this is important.    We get so focused on raising our children, that we forget that we are still supposed to be growing too.  I might be an adult, but I’m certainly not done learning.

Our children are stepping into a bigger, faster and more competitive world than the one we grew up in.  To think that I could possibly predict all the tools they are going to need is both arrogant and naïve.  So instead of carrying the entire responsibility of being their teacher, I would rather lead them in becoming hungry students of the world.

It’s ok that I was away this week.  They understand why.    As we come into landing, I can just imagine their little faces at the gate.  I can’t wait to hold them, share stories of my adventures, and discuss excitedly all the things I’ve learnt.

Last week I was throwing tantrums and threatening to leave.  This week I am a Firewalker- returning to her tribe.

Not sorry for being sorry.

Not sorry for being sorry.

Not too tough for tears.

Not too tough for tears.