Many people speak about the life they wish to live. They want excitement, fulfilment, satisfaction, and purpose just to name a few. Over the past few days I had an opportunity to spend some time in thought over the matter. The question I [pondered was whether people indeed really want these things or if some of us just think we do.
On Monday and Tuesday night I was away on a field trip with my daughter’s grade. This is the last week of school and they were afforded the opportunity to spend time in an outdoor classroom camp environment. The grade consists of over 400 students. About 2/3 of them attended this trip. That many students, spending 4 nights away from home, in cabins of 9 students requires a lot of chaperones as you can well imagine. So, yours truly decided tho join the crowd. Because her mom was a chaperone, my daughter received the privilege of choosing her cabinmates for the trip. Consequently, about half of the group consisted of her good friends. The other half were placed there. I must be doing something right because I got lucky/blessed and had a wonderful group who did not give me one moment’s trouble. The all got along and behaved well. I am actually disappointed that I was only able to commit to staying for two of the four nights there. To say I experienced growth from the experience is an understatemetn. Part of the week’s activities wer designed to encourage the students to push themselves beyond their limits. Another aspect involves character strength and growth.
So get on with it you say? How does all of this ties in with living life or being a fly ion the wall? Well, I’ll tell you. Again this camp is billed as an outdoor classroom with lots of structured adventure as a part of it. Therefore I went zip lining, indoor rock climbing and kayaking. Zip lining is outside of my comport zone but something I have wanted to do for a while. This trip afforded me the opportunity to to spend time in a different environment with my daughter and other girls her age. I was able to observe how my daughter and her peers interact and behave. No so big of a deal? Well, it kinda is. You see, a number of other chaperones did not go to the classes or participate in the activities with their groups. They chose, instead, to use the classroom time as a designated break time. They did not care to take the challenge of going outside of their comfort zone with the activities. The girls of these same parents got less from the experience. THey felt their chaperones were mean and they did not enjoy themselves as much.
Now I’m not judging. To each his own. But I personally got a lot out of living the experience with my group of girls. I think it increased the level of our bonding. I was able to relate how I felt before pushing off the ledge of the zip line to them. I, like some of them, did not make it to the top of the rock climbing wall. Mine was for fear of breaking a nail, but you understand.
The years we have with our offspring as children is an incredibly short time. The bonds we form in childhood can last forever. The opportunities we miss to form such bonds can last last a lifetime.
Our evenings at camp consisted of attending a “show” where life issues, character building, etc. were highlighted. It was actually a joy to debrief the next morning with my young ladies. I learned what thoughts were on their minds. I appreciated their level-headed, intelligent views the openness with which they shared them.
Life is funny. For a few months I have spoken about needing a vacation. Many considered this chaperone activity “work.” I had a mini vacation, reclaimed a bit of my youth, and fought back tears as i drove away wishing I could have extended by stay. I felt nothing short of gratitude for the chance to be 12 years old again. Look at every opportunity as a chance to experience life and not to just view it from the sidelines. Take a chance. Live. It’s worth it.
Spread love…peace and blessings.