As we age we grow wiser from life experience, which is a good thing. But sometimes as we grow older we also become a little bit jaded…almost too realistic…we often lose that sense of wonder and excitement we had as a child, and that is a not such a good thing…
Now that I am an empty nester I find myself looking back and wishing I had done a few things differently – for example, I wish I had done more exploring with my kids and a little less worrying about all the different ways one of them might get hurt during our adventures. I wish I had gone on a few more roller coaster rides instead of standing on the sidelines watching them go. Now don’t get me wrong – my kids and I had tons of fun adventures together and I went on a quite a few roller coasters with them, but looking back I wish I had gone on ALL of the roller coasters every single time, and I wish I would have not shared all my worries about them falling down and scraping their knees whenever they wanted to explore.
As parents we don’t always realize that when we vocalize our worries we are building up limitations in our own children’s minds. I realize it’s a fine balance between keeping our kids healthy and safe, and encouraging our kids to keep their sense of wonder. But I think it’s a balance we are wise to really think twice about so we make sure we aren’t stepping over the line to that side that ends up limiting our children’s sense of wonder.
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” – Rachel Carson
We should all try to be that “one adult” that our kids can feel the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world with.
A few ideas that might help us regain our own sense of wonder so we can be that “one adult” are:
*Start taking photographs to create a photo board of things that you saw that help you feel a sense of wonder. When you are out looking for a photos you can take it will make you notice the details and things you might normally miss. And as you compile your photos into an album or a digital board it can serve as inspiration to remind you of the many wonders that exist in your everyday life.
*Spend time observing a group of little kids playing. Notice their excitement and wonder for everything around them. Watch their ability to be creative and use their imagination. Apply their sense of wonder to your own life.
*Plan a future trip to somewhere new. Go get a few travel books or get online and learn all about the place you are going to go. Read about the culture, read about the history, read about the people…prepping for a future trip can be as rewarding as going on the trip itself and the process of researching and learning about somewhere new will help you feel sense of wonder for something new to look forward to.
*Go outside at night and lay on the grass and stare up at the stars. Realize how incredibly big this great big universe is and recognize the wonder in that.
We are all heading into the weekend ahead and I get it…we’ve all got a million things to do and lists a mile long…but let’s consider handling this weekend just a little bit differently. Let’s try and put a bit more wonder into this weekend ahead. And if you are lucky enough to still have kids at home with you, never stop being that “one adult”.
Have a great wekend everyone!