I was watching my oldest son play in the waves at the beach. The sight of him jumping and splashing took me back to my childhood days. He suddenly sat down and let a wave overtake him. Amazed and soaked in salt water, he sprung up and came running towards me.
Wonderment filled his voice as he shouted, “Mom that was so cool! Did you see how strong the wave was?” With a little giggle I answered, “Yes my love! That was amazing!”
As I watched him run off into the water once again, he looked back to make sure I was still watching him, and I had an epiphany as I watched him grow smaller into the horizon.
Now, of course I would have liked this metaphor to be one on the Shakespearean level, but it’s rather simple.
We as parents are like the shore, our children are the waves and the vast blue ocean this world.
They are this infinite sea of life, full of possibilities. We watch our kids grow in size and strength, just like the waves.
There will be seasons our children come at us in forms of calm waves, while other seasons may bring high tides of struggle.
We want to help them, pull them in, but ultimately as the shore, we have no choice but to let them go and just wait for their return. We hope we were able to teach and shape them in some way. We pray they are strong enough to journey in that ocean.
You see, there is a major clash between the two worlds of childhood and adulthood. Just as the clash of the shore and waves. We want to understand each other, but our worlds are so different.
Childhood is the essence of living in the moment, exploring, and seeing the world for what it truly is. Whereas adulthood is the world of working and trying to plan for the future.
Our world is peculiar to our little ones. Why can’t we just venture out in that ocean and live in the present more often?
We were once those waves, testing our parents with our high tides. Coming and going to our own shore for love, advice and guidance. We lived in the present where every day was an adventure.
Let us strive to be a shore that is present when those waves come to us. Take in those precious moments with your child. Give him/her all the love in forms of hugs and kisses. Pay attention to everything he/she tells you and spend as much time possible together. Say I love you more often.
Wait patiently if he/she is testing you or pushing you away. Remember that our children are unique beings trying to discover who they are. Offer support and protection while being a positive role model. They need to feel secure in that we will always be there for them.
Before we know it, that wave will venture out, but our children will always be looking back, making sure we are still there.
Let us try to live more like our children and immerse ourselves in the present.