I’m not quite sure when I started to love kids – who they are, how they do things and what they’re all about. I don’t even remember really being into kids when I was younger. For a time, while I was working as a chiropractor, I was even a little scared of them. I wasn’t quite sure what to do, especially if they started crying. I would have an internal freak out, but, sometime in the last few years a table turned and now they’re all I spend time thinking about and focussing on. My career is even moving towards assisting their growth and development. I seriously would never have ever thought I would go down this road. Yet, when I wanted to become a doctor, paediatrics was my first choice. So I guess, somewhere deep down inside of me, I had a yearning to help them out.
Since I became an uncle about 7 years ago, I had the great fortune of spending time with a child that was very close to me. Not a patient’s child, but my own family. As you can imagine, the connection was completely different. I immediately just loved him. When we spent time together, all I wanted to do was play with him, observe him, interact with him and be in his company. To me, it felt as if we had an unspoken connection with each other.
I’ve become an uncle twice since then and again when I married my wife. Despite all the nephews and nieces I have now, he is the one that mirrors me the most. I somehow see my reflection in him whenever we spend time together. He shows me so much of myself that I’ve subdued or cast aside. My other nieces and nephews definitely do the same. They also mirror certain parts of me that I’ve forgotten exist in me, and that I’m not paying close enough attention to anymore. I could spend hours on end interacting with them just so I can gather more insight into who I really am. They are the most beautiful teachers I’ve ever had and the reason why is because they’re so honest and so real about who they are. What you see is what you get. There is no deciphering that has to be done.
I look forward to every moment and every minute I get to spend in their company and I do feel a sense of loss when they’re not around. Again, I suspect that’s them trying to teach me, in their own way, how to own the child inside of myself – the child I’ve somehow ‘lost’.
When you look at kids, whether they’re your own or someone else’s, what lessons do you think you can receive from them? Are they hyperactive, sporty, creative, ambitious, determined, dogmatic, stubborn, boisterous, intelligent or extremely confident? Do you think they might be showing you parts of you that you’re not engaging with or activating? Children are, in my opinion, the strongest reflections of who you are as a human being. They are transparent and far from subtle. They push buttons and challenge us to the very core of our being. They have lessons to share with us as much as we have to share with them. So, when you next look at a child and you judge them for behaving in a way that you perceive as inappropriate or you admire them for being incredibly talented, just remember one thing – that’s a part of you that you’re judging or a part of you that you’re admiring that you’re choosing not to own. It would be wise not to take those children for granted because you might learn more about yourself in one hour with a child, than you will with anybody else.