A natural reality in life is that each plant bears its own seed. Pumpkin will grow a pumpkin, a peach tree a peach tree. Unless there is purposeful and intentional intervention then nature will ensure like replicates like. A lettuce is not suddenly going to sprout a tomato! This is a comforting and secure truth, yet when considering our parenting and the society we live in a scary reality.
This week I witness something I ‘know’ happens. Something that I have many times brushed off in the past, just thinking yes, “but so many other people are doing so many good things”. I saw the reality of parts of our society – big parts. I witnessed like producing like. seed, time, harvest.
Being a hot, summers afternoon we headed to the beach as a family to cool off and enjoy some time together before school starts and the routine of life takes over. My kids and I are such beach bunnies and my husband enjoys’ the cold water on a hot day.
However, unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy our evening out. Obviously being a public beach there are numerous other people around. It’s interesting to watch others and how they enjoy both their family time and their beach time. There is no right or wrong, it just is. Some of us love the sun, others love to lie in the shade. Some bring food and resources for the day, others just a towel. It was awesome observing families connecting and enjoying the outdoors.
That was until a beautiful looking mother and her cute 2-year-old son walked near me. He was so adorable in his little socks and sneakers and trendy clothes. I made a note that this mum really went out of her way to provide him with nice things even at the little age of two. I smiled as they walked, and she told him to stand still for a photo. With a smile on my face I watched, enjoying witnessing the connection between mum and son and remembering when my boys were that little.
Then she showed him how to pose. Middle fingers up. Both hands. I looked at her and at the boy. From first observation – adorable. But I sat there in disbelief. A babe, just two, with no understanding of the world – and this is what she is teaching him. My heart honestly dropped. This boy has no concept of right and wrong, this boy just wants to please his mum. He did what she said, obviously practiced in the art of giving someone the finger. He wouldn’t stand still, and she was getting mad at him. The whole situation just made my heart fall into my belly – heartbreaking. As a mum of four, a teacher and a therapist dedicated to improving children’s lives, I honestly couldn’t believe how someone could just snatch a child’s innocence away.
That was until I remembered that like replicates like. What we are is what we will have. What we do is what they will do. What we show, model, or demonstrate is who they will become despite our words.
I looked at the mum again and thought she is trying her best. But how could she help her children become better If she first didn’t become better herself. If we tell our children what to do but don’t do it, we become just words. There is no respect there from our children as they get older. But if we say and do. Now there is real power.
The mum and cute boy walked off and I wondered what will become of his life. What will he endure in his years? And if at two he is taught to pull the fingers what will he be taught at 5, 10, 13, and 18. My heart aches for those children of society. Who don’t know better, don’t see better and who really have no way out.
It reminded me that my power of influence with my children is truely immeasurable. That though as teens I think they don’t listen; their ears and eyes are wide open – more so when they are babes.
What can I say to give this experience justice? To feel like by our works we can make some positive difference in the lives of children like this. I debated talking to her, and a range of other actions, but nothing made sense. This summer may we have the eyes to see others around us, and the hands to do what we can to make the world a better place – whatever that may be. May we choose to provide for those in need who can’t help themselves, be a voice where there is none, and an example of what can be. May we be the purposeful and intentional intervention that may be needed in the lives of others. And while we rightfully enjoy our holidays, may our hearts ever be towards those who can’t.
Happy New Year Without Limits Family, create your best #naturalchildhoodmovement yet.