Increasingly we live in a world of scientific theories and evidence based practice models. Our lives link into global networks seemingly intent on replacing intuitive knowledge, for vast and continual updates in research.
Science in the modern world, weaves with such omnipresence, that even parenting isn’t without its figurative wirey haired man in a white overcoat, whispering in our ear the latest research on feeding, interacting with, and educating our off-spring.
Which is why, it’s reassuring to learn something new as a Mum or Dad, that hasn’t been deduced by scientific methodology, or embodies the latest practice guidelines on how to live a better life.
In fact, the only formula used in this study was a morning wash, peep in the bathroom mirror and then voila – like an apple dropping on my noggin – I managed to have a completely unscientific eureka moment.
The results were as clear as the light bulb I’d flicked on moments before. All evidence pointed towards it and I simply couldn’t hide the data. There, staring back from the wall, a sleepy headed, salt and pepper bearded adult stood before me… -Youth it seemed, had finally vanished.
Not in the philosophical term. Of course we’ll always be younger than ‘somebody else’. No, this was in the reality sense. The personal acknowledgment that after thirty odd years of life with its conditioning ways, prejudices and defence mechanisms, you no longer see the world through the childhood eyes you once did.
In contemplating this fact (note the use of the word fact and not latest scientific research), I became aware that in time, the probability of our own children doing the same thing -that is, looking into a mirror to find an adult staring back – was likely to yield fairly good odds by any respectable bookmaker, let alone academic with a PhD.
From this, my own awareness dawned on what we call ‘rites of passage’. Awareness that we don’t always stay young and climb trees with bare toughened feet, or spend hours creating battle hardy castles made from cardboard boxes.
And in doing so, I reminded myself that when I’m tired and my boys come bouncing over to build a den or share a book together, I shouldn’t postpone their enthusiasm for life until after I’ve researched the latest on Google Scholar telling me how to be a good parent..
I should just stop, appreciate and engage. Because our kids don’t stay young forever.
You only need look in the mirror to find that one out..