Letting Our Children Guide Us


I've been sitting on this topic for a few weeks and wondering if it's worth sharing about, but here it goes.

I think children possess this innate knowledge of what is right and best for their own happiness. I see modeled in my kids this internal compass that knows their true north. When I was a child I remember knowing in my heart who I was, what made me happy, and how to nourish my soul everyday.

It's easy to forget though, isn't it?

About a month ago, the girls were playing "camper." This is an on-going game they play when we are driving home, and they feel like imagining we are heading to a campground with "our trailer." The game almost certainly always circles around memories we've made in the past, such as bonfires and s'mores or reaching the Pacific coast, and places we hope to go, like Maine or the Pacific Northwest. 

After one such round of the game, we came home to our house and my oldest said, "I don't want to be home. Can we sell our house and buy a Airstream?" I was totally taken aback by her comment as she has clung so mightily to home in the past. So I questioned her: "wouldn't you miss our home and be sad?" Shaking her head vigorously, she reiterated how much she longs for travel as a family.

I hesitated to share this story because I feel partially guilty that our life circumstances not only resulted in us selling our Casita, but not pursuing travel further. Sure, we had a baby and are busy and all that, but STILL. This dream does not seem to quit our family, and it resides wholeheartedly in the youngest members of our crew.

Do your kiddos have a dream for your family that they won't drop? How does it make you feel? I think our reactions are signals to whether or not we are also following our true north star. It's easy in our culture to dismiss children, to say that dreams aren't possible, or that we have to live in the "real world" with bills, jobs, and responsibilities.

But what if we didn't just play the camper game, but made it our reality? What if their dreams and our dreams are all and the same? Wouldn't that be a more beautiful way to life as a family?

My encouragement to you today is to listen to your children and what's really on their heart. Then compare it to your own. Are you living the way you imagined as a child? If not, today is the day to start moving forward in a new direction.