Monday, April 22, 2013
Follow your bliss
When I was growing up I wanted to be an archeologist, I have no idea why and thankfully for those in the archeological industry, that passion died a quiet death when I was probably about 8. My kids all have their own dreams of what they're going to be. One wanted to be a builder (but I'd put big money on him doing something that involves rulers and measuring and calculating distances - maybe he'll design a large bridge or structure one day for his mother who loves large structures), one is planning on being a palaeontologist or a policeman, and one has moved on from being a policeman to being a pilot.
As a parent, you kind of hear this background noise of "when I grow up..." and you nod and make all the right noises although you quietly know the passion will die like mine and they'll end up going to university, doing a business degree and then doing some kind of business job, that has them trudging in to the city and their desk on the 6.20am bus each morning. Or not.
You see, the 'pilot" gig has been hanging on tightly, it's not dulling, nor quietening. If anything but. He talks about it widely. His collection of toy planes still holds pride of place on his pre-teen shelf of special things.
We went away this last weekend down to the South Coast of NSW. We saw a sign for an aviation museum, and even though my son's eyes jumped out of his head, The Husband and I made murmuring like "if it works mate we can come back". It wasn't prioritised. It just hang there as a "maybe". While visiting a lighthouse the next day, we got chatting with a helpful person working there. We asked about things to do in the area, and he started talking about the aviation museum. It was a grotty day, it wasn't far out of our way, and we quietly decided to go there for the last couple of hours in the day. As we drove, our sons dozed off, and as we pulled into the carpark, my eldest woke up and was almost running before we'd even stopped the car. And for the next joyous couple of hours he wandered and read, and looked, and then did it all over again. And as he did this The Husband and I had a revelation. Maybe this actually is a "something", maybe this isn't going to slip quietly into the childhood memory bank. Maybe this is real. And if it is maybe we need to be taking this passion, and our son, more seriously than what we have been.
There were some young airforce cadets about his age at the museum as well. As any 12 year old does, he looked at them side on, not making eye contact, but tucking away some information. I sidled up to my son "Would you like to do that mate? Shall we research it a bit?". And he's only stopped asking now that we're home and have sent an email to our (thankfully) local airforce cadet base. On our way home we saw a sign for a air show in the next 2 weeks, thats on a train route only 2 and a bit hours from home. "I might bring him down to that", I whispered to my husband, we had a quick chat about logistics and agreed it was doable for my fella and me to come down so he could gaze at planes.
Because regardless of age or what your passion is, it's important to follow your bliss. And when you're a child, sometimes you need the help of others to know how to do that. And the fire we can see in our son's eyes makes everything worthwhile.
Have you followed your bliss or helped anyone else to follow theirs?
I'm doing mine right now.