I’ve just completed ten hours straight, childminding my little grandsons. I started just after six this morning and finished at 4.45. I am 58 – old enough its true – but not so old as to be worthy of knocking North Korea off the headlines. My mother on the other hand was the original trooper.. She was over 70 when she cared for my two year old daughter while my other child had a life threatening illness. There was no one else to carry the load back then – it was down to her, with no get-out clause. That was hardcore. That was days, weeks and months of digging deep. That lady, well into her golden years, should have been taking it very easy, pruning the roses and sipping her tea, not running around after a little child traumatised by losing her family, and who long since had given up taking a daytime nap.
Me? I just make a big fat fuss compared to what my mother undertook with such dignity and courage. But all the same, two little boys under 6 can surely knock the stuffing out of the best of us.
As a mother I didn’t have boys. I had four girls instead. Boys fight, and I really don’t get that. I was used to creative pursuits when spending time with little children. We painted and sculpted and read books with brightly coloured pictures. We baked cakes and stuck glitter onto anything that would take it. Boys aren’t that way inclined – at least my boys aren’t. They are high octane, full on, and out of their skins 24/7. They find anything and turn it into a gun, they wrestle and throw themselves around, they bounce on the furniture, the beds, and each other. They yell and shout, and have no volume control, they cannot concentrate on anything (apart from a video game) for more than 10 seconds. They are the fullest expression of life in all its dynamic, energetic intensity… And I know, in my heart, that they are here to show me just how much power there is to be had when you open up the taps, and let unfettered, unpolluted Life flow through you.
In this society, as you get older it becomes almost acceptable to be slow, cynical and complaining. It is a well established negative attitude entrenched in the collective thought-form of humanity on Planet Earth. Unconsciously we buy into this erroneous limitation to our lives – a false belief imposed by generations of similar thinkers – and we say.. ‘This is the way it is…’ Time (for which we only have circumstantial evidence btw – no direct evidence – in other words, it is always NOW even though we see things decay and die) dictates that we not only decline in our bodies, but we also rot away in our minds and attitudes as well. We expect to feel bad.
Why should we do this? It is insane. As we get older we accumulate decades of knowledge – wisdom if you like – gained from a vast pool of experience that has been our life path. Why should this have to make us feel sad, full of regret and cynical? Why can we not turn this thinking on its head and be full to bursting with the understanding that Life IS what we make of it – it IS how we perceive it – and it IS how we live it! By the time you get to my age, we KNOW it is all about choice – we know we do not have to accept anything that makes us feel bad – we know we can simply decide in the moment to look for the good in all things. And we also know, if we care to admit it, that just because we spent 50 years working this out for ourselves, it doesn’t mean we have to resent others who discover it a little quicker. From our place in the bigger perspective, we have the luxury of knowing a little more of the fun and illusion of how Life really works.
When the boys are with me, I live in the now. I stop worrying, I stop fearing, I stop banging on about the past and I stop projecting fearfully into the future. I am fully present – here and now. I play, I laugh, I roll on the floor, I make funny faces and silly noises, I forget all about my 58 years – they are of no consequence when you are in the moment.
When I am with them, I see the world anew, and also with the timeless gift of wisdom… and that feels good. 🙂