Steve Jobs, Enid Blyton and my mother

We watched the movie Enid the other week. I read lots of Enid Blyton books as a child, and really enjoyed them. This movie really pushed home how, whilst she had an amazing impact on, and connection with, millions of children, she really didn’t have a very good connection with her own. My tip is, if you don’t know much about her life, but enjoyed her work, don’t watch the movie. Whilst it was excellent, it really sours the memory of her books.

Similarly, I read Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs recently. Unlike what seems like everyone else, I actually quite enjoyed it. Sure, there may have been some factual errors, and maybe it could have been a much better book, but I felt it did give me a lot of insight into the man that I never had up until that point. I would like to have known more about the NeXT years, but it still contained a lot of what was to me new information.

Interestingly, my mind drew a lot of parallels between these two people, lots of them coming after the fact as I finally got around to listening to all of the 5by5 podcasts discussing the book. The main similarity for me was that these two people had huge impacts on lots of people, but failed to connect effectively with their own children.

Which brings me to my mother. It was her 60th birthday on the weekend, and I gave a short, crappy speech. What I really wanted to say really only crystalised in my mind after a couple of other people had spoken, and I had some time to think about it.

My mum worked for many years running the child day care centre in Naracoorte, and whilst she didn’t touch quite as many childrens’ lives as Jobs and Blyton, the number of children she had a significant impact on was by no means small.

The difference was, she still managed to have a great connection with her children.