I forget exactly when, but a few years ago we noticed that Elliotte had started biting her fingernails. The guilt I felt when I first saw it happen was immense, after all, it was my fault - I was the only one around her that bit their nails, and I'd passed this horrible trait on to my daughter.
Immediately I put an end to a lifelong habit, encouraging my daughter to do the same. Although it wasn't easy, after a difficult month or so of explaining the reason why nail biting isn't a good thing to do, reminding her to stop every time we notice and nagging as things hadn't changed. We were still struggling to help her to stop, and so I decided to try a different approach, I got an anti-nail biting solution from our local pharmacy.
Explaining to Elliotte as I applied the clear nail polish-like solution that biting her nails after today would make her really ill, made me feel almost as guilty as passing on my habit had in the first place. Havnig said that, it was the only option I could think of at the time, and fortuntely, worked incredibly well. She bit her nails only once after that (I think it was a momentary lapse in concentration, as she bolted for the bathroom in preparation to be sick a split-second later), I was relieved and thankful.
Fast forward a couple of years and Charleigh and I together made a positive and exciting change that would have an impact on both our children; as a household, we became vegetarian. I posted at the time about my decision to move away from eating meat and at the time it felt like it was just my decision to join in with my wife's life choice. Looking back though, I realise that it was a decision for the greater good of not just our family, but our families impact on the world from that day on.
Since then, Elliotte has grown infinitely - In the way she chooses to see the world and the way in which she tries to shape it around her. As has my Charleigh, a few months ago she pushed herself hard and removed all animal products from her life. Just a few days ago, she announced to my Charleigh that she wanted to do the same.
I'm incredibly proud of my girls, they want the best for this world and those around them. Charleigh saw what she felt was wrong with our version of the world and did the best she could to change it. After she successfuly made those changes herself, she then spent a lot of time and effort encouraging those around her to do the same.
Last week marked the anniversary of my choosing to become vegitarian and after what I think is fair to call a month of realisation and change for my family, I am marking the occasion by today announcing that I have decided to follow suit with my wife and daughter, and adopt a fully vegan lifestyle.
Today marks an important day for me, where I've made a change to better myself and the planet as a whole. I feel like it also marks an important day for Charleigh who has spent countless hours and days trying to better her family around her. She's definitely succeeded.