Sunday, January 31, 2010

Advice I might not always give.

I'm in a mood.

I don't know if you would call it reflective, or nostalgic, or contemplative, or goofy -- but I feel the need to pass on some advice to my children, that I might not otherwise share. So, I thought I'd write it down before the mood passes.

To my children,

Life is short.

You don't realize this yet. But before you know it, you'll be staring down the barrel of forty, you'll have a spouse and a mortgage and kids of your own. You'll have responsibilities and cares. That's the way of life, and it's okay. In fact, it can be wonderful. But, right now, you're very lucky -- childhood is a precious gift. Mine certainly was, and if I could grant you one wish right now, it would be for you to have the magical childhood that I had.

There are things that I want you to do....but not necessarily while I'm watching...

My advice to you is to stomp in the rain puddles. Make the biggest splash you can.

Pour glue into the palm of your hand, let it dry and peel away your new skin.

Eat snow. White snow.

Climb higher than you think you can. Higher than you think I would want you to.

Play with your food.

Run fast and walk slow.

Jump out of a swing.

Destroy your toys in creative ways (just not your new toys).

When you play games, make up your own rules.

Dream big dreams. You may never be an astronaut, or a secret agent or a superhero, but aim in that direction.

If you find something that needs coloring, color it.

Get dirty.

Get wet.

Sing out loud.

Sneak a kiss, when you get the chance.

Make good friends and big plans.

Build rockets and dig for dinosaurs and have tea parties.

If it's beautiful, stop and look at it a little longer. If it's not beautiful, make it so.

Dance badly, but enthusiastically.

Get to know your world -- hold it, taste it, feel it, take it apart, put it back together (disregard the left over parts), conquer it, stand in awe of it.

Hold every experience in your heart, and make memories.

Write a grand story. Tonight you have my permission.


{krista} said...

Great advice for your kids... great advice for ME... I love it.

Aaron said...

If only our parents knew HALF the things we really did......

I'm sure our parents would have never given us that same permission you just gave your kids.....

But I sure am glad we did it anyway.....and did it together.

My life would be less without your influence. Thanks.

Corey~living and loving said...

another meaningful post, Chris. got me in the ol' soft spot. I used to write more stuff like this....then I got boring. sigh....

imbeingheldhostage said...

How? You always come up with these posts that are top notch. Don't you ever just throw something out there that doesn't flow, doesn't make sense and is completely uninteresting?
Do you need me to teach you?

Linda said...

Another great post!

I think my childhood was boring, but I had parents who loved me and my siblings, and we had fun. We were poor, but didn't realize it. We had plenty of food, and clothes to wear and a roof over our heads.

My hubby, on the other hand, and his brothers were lucky to hit adulthood. He can tell so many stories of the things they used to do. His dad died before he was 16, and he took over as head of the house, but they still had fun. His mom was completely oblivious, but she was busy with the youngest, who is retarded, and cooking and cleaning and etc.

My kids have just opened up about what they used to do. I would probably have maimed them if I'd known about it at the time. They are all 40ish. The scariest thing they told me was when the would climb the grain elevator, you know, those high, high, high, white concrete tubes you see in the country and cities. They would get out on the roof and sit with their legs hanging over, and swinging them. Yikes!

Your ideas for childhood are good!

Emmy said...

This is awesome!! How absolutely wonderful.

I have a couple of awards for you on my blog today.

Anonymous said...

This post has arrived on the day that a book was published with the title [more or less] Let your children do dangerous things. Obviously he does not mean they should play in traffic or rock climb more than ten feet, but I am so in agreement with your beautifully written plea for children to live and play, get dirty, take chances. All the dangers that exist today were there when I was young and my kids were young. Now we coddle and protect them into staying home in from of Nanny TV or Nurse Games Console, because there no harm can come to them.
What happened to Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, building a secret den in the woods,fishing for tiddlers?
Great post.

Kelly Deneen Raymond said...

I fear that Delia will not have the fun childhood that I did. I have so many memories of playing and getting dirty and running and biking and doing so much. I don't feel like we have enough time in the day to allow her all of those opportunities. I guess we need to make time. It is so important.

Anonymous said...

Love this post and the pictures that you chose to go with it. Great to remember not only as children, but for all of us.

Emily said...

Great advice. My kids have already taken the coloring thing to heart...we now have some beautiful new artwork on our walls.

Heidi said...

You're right, kids need the opportunity to just be kids! Sometimes I forget that. Thanks for the reminder.
Love the pictures!
So does this mean you are going to write every day through the month of February too?

Oh and Photo Hunt Challenges has her list and link up. You said you'd do it, so here's the link Photo Hunt Challenges.

Honey Mommy said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful post!

Thanks for the reminder that sometimes being a kid (or adult!) means being messy and having fun.

Lindsay said...

I think I may start quoting you on facebook - and we all know that's the highest compliment! :-)

And seriously...I wanna go spread glue on my hands right now!

Cecily R said...

Best. Post. Ever.

My all time favorite of yours and I have a lot of Chris favorites.


Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I love this advice!

How about "pick your boogers only when no one is looking"?

No..not good?

Love those photos!