I was lucky to have an unconventional youth, during which some periods of my life were defined largely by who I was and what interested me. These were my halcyon days, upon which I still look with pleasure. Some time ago, I made a brief list of the elements that were crucial to these idyllic periods:
- learning by following my heart and by doing
- feeling accepted and welcomed
- engaged in meaningful work
- peaceful surroundings
- having private space
- a strong sense of self
- feeling loved
- participating in enjoyable physical activities
- enjoying a healthful lifestyle
- feeling in love with life
- feeling safe
- knowing I make a difference
Looking at this list now, I see that my daughters are far luckier than I was; their unconventional youth affords them great sweeping expanses of life defined by who they are and what interests them.
Recently I have concluded that fun and magic are crucial elements in the design of my life today. They are nearly as essential to me as air and water. Without fun and magic, it would not be my life.
My children have repeatedly demonstrated that they are much more perceptive than most adults recognize kids as being. They pick up on nuances, read between lines, hear between words, scrutinize the examples we set. Scanning our lives for ideas, traits, thoughts, and ways of being that they can welcome or reject, they reflect who we are by being who they are, not our little dittos. I wonder what this revelation, about the essentialness of fun and magic, will signify. How it will affect my children’s view of their own lives, and how much of their lives will they look back upon with pleasure?
(C) 2006, 2011 by Shay Seaborne. All Rights Reserved.