Here’s what I’ve noticed about parenthood. In many ways, it’s a do-over. We get to look back at what our childhood was like and decide what we’d keep the same and what we’d change. The whole idea is that we want our kids to have the opportunities we didn’t. We want to them to be able to go further than we have.
That’s been true for me in a couple of ways. My mother was always big on talking to me. Whether it was sharing flaws or any other ways that helped us get to know each other as people outside of being mother and daughter. She also always talked to me when I got in trouble. She’d make sure to talk to me about what I’ve done wrong instead of spanking me. All of this, I’ve carried over to my babies.
When I think about my childhood,I know one thing that stands out about me is my love of writing. I don’t know that I looked at it as something special that needed to be nurtured. It was just something I’d always done. I wrote songs and poems all the time. I’d roll them up like scrolls and store them. Later that writing turned into long form essays. It shouldn’t have been any surprise that I ended up writing for a newspaper fresh out of college. My whole career has actually been that of a writer.
Seeing how that thread followed me my whole life, I’m really attentive to what my kids are into. They are both really artsy. They both love to draw. My son loves to read and write. My daughter is really crafty and will make a project out of the most random items. I’m trying to follow their lead and nurture their talents. If that means art, writing, and gymnastics classes – I’m in. I want them to try zoom in to the things they’re naturally good at. Of course, they have to try new things but staying true to who they are and what they are passionate about is really important to me.
In talking to my friends a few years back, I noticed some of us felt like we needed to find our passions. We felt like we’d lost it somewhere along the way. Part of that came with parenthood. Ha! That’s a game changer in itself. The other part of that though is that for so many of us the thing to do was go to college, major in something that will pay you well, get a job and live happily ever after. The thing that was left out was doing something that you were passionate about. In real world scenarios, passions don’t get much air time.
I wonder what would happen though, if we stick with our kids and what they are passionate about and naturally good at. Will they have an easier time of knowing who they are? Will they still be searching for themselves in their 30s. Sure, we’re always changing and growing – that won’t stop. Still, what if w can lose some of the bumps in the road if you’re already on your path.
You know when my friends and I talked years ago about finding our passions, we found one question always came up. You know what that is? Everyone always says, “What did you love to do when you were a kid?” My thinking is what if you’d never stopped doing those things because our parents nurture them in us all along? So, that’s what I’m trying to do. If they love it, we’ll do more of it. It can’t hurt, right?
What about you? How have you found a way to make time for something you’re passionate about?