The Whole World In Their Hands...
I took this photo of my youngest farmhand holding a tiny egg. After I took it, I couldn't stop thinking. Our children have the whole world in their hands right at this moment. That little egg has the potential to change his whole world, it can teach him about life, about caring, about love, about dreams and opportunity. As they grow, we hope our children have every opportunity to explore, learn, grow, and find themselves in this world.
The question came to my mind: how do I keep my children holding all of these opportunities in their hands? The world can be a tough place where dreams can crumble and doors shut out opportunity. How do we help our children keep hope and learn to maneuver around these obstacles that will come in their lives? The answer is different for each child.
Over many years, I have decided that one way I can help my boys hold the world in their hands is to give them a broad point of view. We take our children everywhere, they are both well traveled for people of their ages, they have seen small glimpses of the world. One thing that I have loved about taking them places is that they have grown a sense of how big the world is and they are not afraid of it. They love new cultures, foods, and different people; they crave new glimpses of the world, and of people and animals.
Another path I have tried to follow is education. I believe in my children learning, and not just learning, but learning more that I know. We spend summers at Natural History Museum camps learning and exploring, we bounce from museum to museum, we explore our national parks and surrounding wilderness, and we go to every place that I can find that will open their minds to new ideas and help give them a thirst for learning and exploring knowledge. Surprisingly this has lead to a lot of discussion and new opportunities to learn. It has also helped us discover the huge library of documentaries that can help show us parts of the world that we have not yet explored.
I let my children explore and discover on their own, without me leading them. I often follow their lead, allowing them to choose our path. In the process they have discovered who they are, and I have learned so much about them and their personalities. I want them to spread their wings as far as they can reach, to touch a piece of sky that they haven't reached before. I know what that feels like, to touch that piece of sky, to soar, and I want the same for them.
The one other thing that I hope they learn is to never give up, no matter how large the obstacle is facing you, you can conquer it. I have learned this lesson over and over again in my life. To conquer when everything is against you is the most magnificent moment and so worth the battle. Do not be afraid to dream and achieve. Hard work, determination, and persistence are what make dreams reality.
My boys are not yet grown, we still have much to learn and many obstacles to face. For right now in this moment, I will show them how to spread their wings and fly, because that is what makes life worth living: that moment when you leap and learn that you will not fall...