Thursday, June 07, 2012

Life is an adventure...

...only we grown ups often forget about that and make it all boring, sensible and serious. Young sir has daily encounters with monsters, pirates, imaginary friends and many other amazing creatures. My daily encounters are with the washing up and laundry - chores. He tidied up his room yesterday and even that was a big adventure, not a boring chore - the moment of greatest excitement was being allowed to hoover it all by himself (long may it last).

Kids don't dream of being mediocre, they dream big. Somewhere along the way most of us grown ups get trapped into the rut of doing the sensible thing, not what we dream or think would be exciting...the fear of failure gets too high and we end up not trying at all rather than trying, failing, trying, failing, trying, failing, trying and finally succeeding.

I watched young sir on his swimming lesson last week trying to pick up a ring from the bottom of the pool. The first time he did not get it regardless of his countless attempts. The second time at the end of the lesson when they did it again, he kept trying, again and again and again. He's inherited fair amount of determination from both of us and it was evident that the stubbornness genes kicked into play - he was going to get the ring no matter how long he had to keep trying. And when he finally got it after the nth time, the big beaming smile on his face was so touching and rewarding.

I often catch myself saying no to young sir, just because it is the sensible thing to do, not because there is any reason for it. Last weekend we went to the beach with some friends. The kids quickly discovered that the frisbee flies much further if you throw it down from the sand dune. And the sensible grown up in me was saying no (visualising all the possible scenarios such as a passer by being knocked out by this object hurdling down etc). Whilst the less grown up side of me was asking the question from Dr Pepper adverts 'what's the worst that  could happen?' The less grown up side won and the kids had marvellous time running up and down the dunes hurdling plastics discs down like missiles.

The challenge I am giving my self is stop and check whether I am saying no because it is one of those situations the standard grown up answer is no (or it causes too much mess for me to tidy up and I say no out of laziness) or whether I there is actually a real danger or serious consequences if I don't say no. More often and not I find myself saying no just because it seems to be the expected parenting response rather than for any real reason.

Life is an adventure but it is a choice whether you see it as one or not. Your situation will still be the same, it is your outlook that changes. Like Polyanna's rose tinted lenses, it is up to us how we see the world around us.

The older we get, the easier it is to select the 'sensible' option rather than dreaming big and taking the risk of facing failure before succeeding. Seeing things how they are rather than how they could be.

So here I am, at the start of another day. Choosing adventure - whilst doing the washing up. Choosing to keep dreaming - whilst hanging the laundry. And learning from young sir how it is done - whilst trying not to say no needlessly.

When you are four, life is not boring...each day is a new adventure...why should it be boring now?

(And yes, I know the house work still needs to be done, choosing adventure doesn't take away the washing up. It is all about the attitude you have, not what you do!)

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