Last month, we had to go to a friend’s home for a house warming party. My son was going down to play with his friends and I told him that he had to be back by 6 pm, so that he would have enough time to wash-up and get ready! Our conversation went something like this.
Son: So, where are we going?
Me: To Aunt L’s house. She has moved to a new condo, so she has called us over for dinner.
Son: Oh! Aunt L? Hmmm…(he seemed to be in deep thought).
Son: I have a confession to make.
Me: Sure, tell me. (….wondering what was coming)
Son: You know that there is a small hillock near Aunt L’s old house? About four years ago, my friends and I walked up that hillock.
(My friend (the said Aunt L) had already told me that these kids had been going up and down the hillock and had asked them to be careful, as they could get hurt).
Me: Yes, I know. Aunt L has told me.
Son: But that’s not it. Once, when Aunt L was not there (she is usually watching us), the five of us went up the hillock, and went through a small gap in the fence. We found ourselves outside the condo. There was a grassy slope, some trees, and at a distance was the next building. We high-fived and came back into our condo through the fence. Are you mad at me?
Me: I am not mad, but it could have been dangerous to go out like you did. You could have got hurt.
Son: Mom, it was a long time ago. I wouldn’t do that now. OK, bye!
I smiled and imagined the scene. Five little imps, up for an adventure to conquer the hillock, and see the world outside. I can imagine those giggles, the shared camaraderie, and the imagined ‘big’ conspiracy. I wonder how much they had planned, and who amongst them took the call to get them all enthused and going.
Picture courtesy – Can Stock Photo
Five children, 7 to 8 year-olds, best friends, in their shorts and t-shirts, scrambling up the hillock, quickly sneaking out through the fence, their hearts thudding in excitement at this sudden adventure, reaching the other side, looking at each other, and sharing looks of glee and sudden giggles, and then their thudding hearts reminding them of home, parents and fear, and the scramble back to the other side of the fence, back to safety, to the known and to the comfort of home.
And this is how it will be for our children. As parents, we will never know some of the adventures that the children will embark on in their future. They will try to conquer their fears by trying new things, sometimes they will do something because it is cool, sometimes they will do things that will help them reach their highest potential.