Aldous Huxley once said “The secret of Genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, never losing your enthusiasm”.
I do so love being around children.
My own children tonight, engaged in a “salad bar”. Of their own initiative and desire… making delicious salads. Enthusiastically!
Is that not a delicious looking salad? I think it tasted even better because it had so much love in it.
Since opening my own paediatric occupational therapy practice 2 years ago, I have rarely been asked to elaborate on what I do.
I do so love being with children.
Even, and perhaps especially, children with difficulties.
Here is an example of a “plan” I might make to help structure a child’s session and ensure their success with playing in my therapy gym.
Are children enthusiastic by nature – you bet!
Do children have challenges than prevent them from being enthusiastic in all settings, with all people, at all times – you bet!
Do some children hardly ever have the experience of being enthusiastically engaged – you bet!
And even more is this the case, each day I believe, in our current culture.
I do so enjoy being around children.
Children with not a lot to be enthusiastic about, given their day to day experiences.
I often wish I could walk a mile in their shoes…
And then I’d even mores appreciate their enthusiasm at walking through my doors.
So, in short, as my kids say “I play for work”. But its a whole lot more than that. I’d love to chat more with you about it one day.
Is it easy? NO!
Is it always fun? Heck, no!
Do I get to see the spirit of each child? Certainly yes.
Do I get to see that spirit in a different way than many other people in these “difficult” children’s lives? Amazing, another resounding, yes! Sometimes surprises me that in 1 hour a week, added up over a year or more, I can see a child in a light so different than their teachers, EAs, parents, etc.
There is no easy explanation for this. No formula. It is an art form that takes shape each time I meet a child.
And, I must say in 2 weeks holiday from work I have realized something strange…
Do I get to see the spirit of each adult in my day to day life? Certainly no.
Even ones I have spent countless hours with. Do I really “know” them? There is so much we can keep unseen.
Children do not have such walls.
Even difficult children.
I am very fortunate that a handful of passionate adult souls choose to be vulnerable, open, welcoming and enthusiastic with me…
But, I must say I agree with Aldous Huxley.
I realize what is more tiring than work – (even working with 5-6 “difficult” children each day!),
Is spending time with adults who have lost enthusiasm.
I am acutely aware that I only have so much time.
And the time I have, I will choose to spend wisely.
So, in many years, I will not feel I have wasted and squandered away this limited amount of time I had.
I will be doing less in 2016.
I will be loving more.
I will be present more with my people.
And I will be deliberately choosing to spend more time with passionate, loving people.
People who love me as I am. Those from whom I consistently come away feeling more loved, more loving, and more enthusiastic.
As Joanna Cann has so amazingly written her first book about, I am free!
As Neufeld says – it is not the “role” someone has in a child’s life that is important (teacher, father, doctor, aunt, etc.) but the relationship that matters.
And so it is with me.
How will you choose to spend your time in 2016?
What salad bar will you open…? with enthusiasm!