We would all like to believe that we’ve lived an exciting life. Every one of us thinks our life has been exciting, challenging, interesting. We all like to think our challenges were the toughest, our obstacles the greatest, our courage the strongest. And, in a way, this might be true.
Because the obstacles you face will look very different to your neighbor. Just as the obstacles they face look very different to you. Oh we commiserate with each other but secretly we are all thinking of how we would have handled the situation differently, how we would be dealing with it better, how obvious the solution to that problem is and why don’t they see it?
There are an overabundance of statistics in this country about almost everything. About how where you live affects your kids, about how much money you make affects you and your kids. About how the people your children see everyday affect their lives, about how children react to the city or the country or suburbia. About how the right elementary school can affect your child and about how high school affects teens. There are statistics about how peer pressure affects teens, how family life affects a teens high school experience and their grades and even their life after high school. There are statistics about how important it is to be given the best possible start in school so that, by the time you get to high school you are adequately prepared. And the list goes on and on and on and on…
The truth is, we can never be adequately prepared. Not for high school, not for life, not for parenthood. We can never know what to expect. We can never fully control the things that happen to us in life or the experiences that bring us to wherever we are in that life at any given moment.
I will never claim that my life is more interesting or eventful or even difficult than anyone else’s. It has been very eventful in my opinion. Parts of it have been very difficult for me to deal with and, up until a few months ago, I thought it was completely un-interesting. But now I realize how wrong an assumption that was on my part.
Everything about a life is interesting. Even things that seem un-interesting to you about your life are interesting. Maybe not to you but to someone. And, if you pay enough attention, they might start to look interesting to you as well.
Life is interesting. Too many of us take everyday life for granted but there are a million tiny things that are very interesting and they happen to each of us every day.
For those of you without children, you should make the effort to find a friend who has children. Children make every day brighter. They make life worth living and the world would be a very boring place indeed without the myriad of wonderful, exciting things that children do and say every day.
For those of you who have children, you should make the effort to listen to them more and spend more time with them. Even if you are a very involved parent who spends a lot of time with your children every day, it’s never a bad idea to increase that. Listen to your children’s words because they say the most interesting things and they can be amazingly insightful. There is a reason for that phrase “…out of the mouths of babes…”. It’s absolutely true. And it’s not only the things they say that can amaze you. They do such amazing things every day and we all miss too many of those things.
I grew up fighting with my brother. Seriously, my mother couldn’t leave us alone for five minutes without blood being spilled. And yet, somehow we managed to live through it and we managed to form a bond in our adulthood that neither of us could have imagined when we were ten and seven and tearing into each other for no reason other than “he looked at me” and “she touched me”.
Not to mention . . . your kids will grow up so fast, it’s almost dizzying. Childhood is such a small part of our lives and we all rushed through it. Everyone of us, at some point, couldn’t wait to be a year older or five years older or even all grown up. I think sometimes parents get caught up in this mad dash to adulthood and they rush too. Maybe they want to be able to relate with their children on a more adult level. Maybe they are so crazed by the hectic schedules that seem inherent with children and work and life. Maybe they didn’t realize just how much children would change their lives and they feel rushed to get back to a life that feels normal. Whatever the reason, too many parents miss a lot of their children’s childhood and that is a shame because we can’t go back and we can’t ever truly experience those things again. Even having more kids is no guarantee that you’ll get to do things over because every child is different.
And every life is different. It really doesn’t matter where you come from, who your parents are, whether you’re rich or poor or somewhere in between. Your life is not going to be like anyone else’s, regardless of statistics. And this is because you are not like anyone else. I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for us but people love their statistics. People love their trends and they love to follow the crowd. But the truth is, there is no crowd. There is no truth in statistics. You can not look at two children in two similar households, with the same parental situation and influence, a similar income and school experience and expect them to turn out the same. It just doesn’t happen. And it doesn’t happen because those two children are different. You could put them in identical houses with actors as parents who treat them exactly the same, give them the same presents, let them watch the same television shows, dress them exactly the same and those two children would still turn out different in some way or another. Maybe in every way.
Because that’s life.
Check back soon for more musings and other nonsense from my head.
© J.C. Morrows 2013
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God Bless You!