Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Being the change I want to see in my kids

Imagine who you want your kids to become...and be that.

All my life (at least as far back as I can remember), I've been a little too serious. When other kids were partying in high school, I was working.  In college, while others were; finding themselves, traveling, partying and generally just being free spirited...I was working more.  When I graduated and got a job, I worked, and then went home.

That pretty much sums up my early life.

Now, truth be told, I am a massive introvert.  Therefore I don't enjoy bars, clubs, crowds, loud people, or idiots.  So...that pretty much limited my free time. I do have the odd story, here and there; of going to a concert in a dingy bar and moshing (sp?) til my neck hurt, or the time I drank beer for my rugby initiation from a strangers shoe, or the time I skipped school to see They Might Be Giants play on the National Mall (only to find the Marine Corps band). But for the most part I simply don't let myself be free to just have least in public.

This is something I am trying to change, for myself, and for my daughter, who is trying to set the world record for how little she can show in a crowd.  This concert was a good example because as my son was out in front Irish-jigging his brains out, my daughter was quietly, passively, sitting and enjoying the concert.  I hurt for her a little, because I knew part of her wanted to just get up and have a ball without caring what others thought.  

Eventually she did get up, and she tried to get me up...and I did what I always do...I resisted.  I stayed.  I sat.  I declined. But then I saw myself from the outside...and I saw the example I was setting...and I got my ass up.  I spent the rest of the night jigging, clapping, stomping and jumping (yes...jumping) to every single song.

As we left the Lumberjack arena with both of my flushed-face smiling children, I told Laurel "this is what it feels like to live a little".

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