She tried to stay focused. She attempted her best to converse. But she struggled to not be distracted by my three little girls running around, gathering flowers and chasing squirrels, giggling and rolling in the new green grass, joyfully embracing spring’s goodness after a long winter.
My friend and I sat enjoying a cup of coffee amid the soft, pink roses, the wind was warm and full of new beginnings. My children played and ran, soaking up the fresh springtime air.
My friend was a young lady who was recently married, and did not yet have children yet. Finally, she gave up trying to stay focused on our conversation.
Geez, your girls are busy! How do you keep up? Don’t you ever want them to just… BE STILL, eat a snack and read a book?
My jaw dropped. I couldn’t fathom the idea. Why would I want them to just BE STILL? I didn’t look her in the eye immediately. Trying to gather my thoughts, I focused on my daughter’s excited little face as she ran up to me, chattering enthusiastically.
Feel it, Mom.
It’s so squishy!!!
Mom, it’s wriggling.
Mom, why does it do that?
Why, Mom, why?
I smiled. Ask her to BE STILL and have both of us miss out on THAT? No way.
A few days later, I was having lunch with some friends who have two kids, also girls near the same ages as mine. They listened intently about our very full week of adventuring with our local Adventure Clubs. The dad looked dumbfounded.
Wow. That’s a lot of excitement for a child. It’s so many things they are experiencing! Don’t you think maybe you are spoiling them with too EPIC of a childhood? What if they get the wrong idea that life will always be that amazing? When they grow up, they will learn that, actually, the real world it’s just pretty slow and boring.
I laughed out loud. My life certainly isn’t slow and boring.
Too epic? If anything, I want their childhoods to be as epic as possible—FULL of incredible memories and exposure to every good thing the world has to offer.
My husband agreed. “Spoil them? With what, our time? Our love? Our presence? No. That’s not something we worry about. Not at all.”
“Spoiled children” are usually thought to have stacks of toys, name brand clothes, access to whatever they want at any time. But what if we “spoiled” our children with our time and making memories? What we call that?
Rich? Healthy? Happy?
Adventuring isn’t about spending money or having a Facebook album full of cool photos to show the world about how awesome our life is.
No, adventuring is about things far more important:
Investing in time with our kids
Making memories together
Learning about the world around us
Growing in community together
If that’s spoiling my kids. Yes. By all means, I’m guilty as charged.