Careful what you shut the door to or “what wave of growth are you skipping now?”

I am fascinated by human evolution and not the ‘where did we come from’ kind. I am enamored with watching our current, in-the-moment evolution; the continual evolvement of our species. Someone once said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” At this point in my life, I now realize what a continual gift our children are in this process of change. Considering how much of our life changed the moment they were born, we may have been given a glimpse then of what was to come. Our children keep us young, or so the saying goes. Actually, I am now finding this to be very accurate. My children have brought me along into their world, which is very different than my world at their age. Not that their world is less than or more than what I experienced growing up; it is just a different slice in time and as a result, a different slice in reality.

I have been criticized and even taunted by my peers for trying to keep up with my children. As a parent, it is a no-brainer to me; if your child won’t answer your phone call but will answer your text then I am going to learn how to text. If my middle-schooler is enthralled with hip-hop music, then I am going to listen to it each time we drive to soccer practices, so I can check out what this music is. No one warned me that I would end up knowing all the words to songs my peers don’t even know exist. If my dancing daughter can’t miss a single episode in the TV reality dance shows, then I am going to watch this show long enough to get addicted to it and long past my daughter’s interest in it. Again, forgot to read the warning label on that one.

There are countless examples of growth my children have induced in me; some I will be eternally grateful for and some, I am grateful they got all the lessons they needed so we could all move on. Walking through life with your child can help the parents evolve and the more open the parent, the more growth that can be shared. All knowledge is cumulative and when we as parents avoid or skip certain common experiences with our children, we do indeed miss out. More likely, we become anchored in the past, unable to embrace the moment. The children of this generation live life on the cutting edge; changes happen daily in their world and impacts them profoundly. I prefer to keep swimming in the same stream as them so we can continue to speak the same language, ride the same boat, etc.

We are evolving as a society and this is reflected in our values, our pastimes, our movies, our music and our attitudes. Do we allow our view of the world to widen and expand or do we keep our blinders on so we don’t have to ‘grow’ there? Do you view new music or new ideas with skepticism or judgment automatically or are you able to embrace the joy, creativity and perhaps even the new improved version of yourself? We shut our doors on new possibilities because we are afraid; we have fears of change, fears of what others will think and fears of the unknown. Fear is paralyzing and limiting and courage is flowing and expansive. Most fears are figments of our own imaginations and are just as easily set aside. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” My wish is that you overcome your biggest fear that you won’t keep up with your children and let that motivate your inner child to keep growing.