Last week my son turned eight years old! EIGHT! In danger of sounding like an utter cliché: Where did time go?
I remember it like it was yesterday that he was just a little baby without words to express himself. But now he’s rapidly growing into someone that I get to know a little more everyday.
I catch myself thinking back to when I was eight, trying to remember my biggest worries and joys. Some are easy and others not. As I get older it seems that a lot of my childhood memories get smooshed into one and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which memories are from what age.
So what did I really know when I was eight?
I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I think I already was one. I made tiny books out of coloured paper and I wrote stories and gave them to people I loved. I still write and I still love it just as much!
I knew that I wanted to be like the grown ups, because everything seemed so easy and accessible to them. I was wrong. Now I find myself wishing I could be that kid again. Knowing how complicated it really is to live a grown up life. To climb those trees and believe fairy tales.
I knew that by the time I would turn twenty-five I would have found Mr. Right, be married and maybe think about starting a family. I was so wrong! Things rarely go according to plan. We all learn that the hard way.
I knew that I loved books! That love has grown and grown and grown into something so big that I find it hard to put it into words.
So I guess I knew some things, but I was obviously clueless and naive about others, but I think that’s sort of the beauty of growing up. Finding those things that expands and take roots inside of us. Those little seeds that are inside of us as children that actually starts to grow and refuses to leave. The branches that guides us to a place that we need to be. On a journey we need to go.
But along that journey, some branches die. Some seeds never sprouts, but maybe there’s a reason for that. It might hurt (like hell) but we learn from the pain as well if we refuse to let it defeat us.
So now I watch my little boy whenever he’s caught up in his own thoughts and I wonder just where he travels. If some of his thoughts and adventures will be the same as mine. If some of my dreams and hopes will be shared with him.
I wonder what he knows. Sometimes I ask him, but I think he likes to keep some of it to himself just like I did.
I hope he dreams big and even bigger than big. I hope he reaches for them. I hope his inner tree of dreams grows so big that it almost doesn’t fit him, and that he climbs it all the way to the top and sees the world differently.
I hope he grabs hold of a good branch whenever another one dies and breaks off. And if he do falls down I hope that he climbs right back up again and sees it as nothing else than a little setback.
I hope that his life is filled with journeys that he will never forget.
But most of all I hope to be a part of it. If not by being there, then I hope he’ll want to share them with me. Tell me the stories of his life. The joys and the sorrows. I will never know all the answers to all of his questions, but I will always try to help. I will tell him about my climb up my tree, not for the purpose of telling him which branch to go to next. He’ll have to make those decisions for himself, but maybe my stories can help him to see the warning signs of a bad branch from time to time.