This post is inspired by Jack Petrash's book, "Navigating the Terrain of Childhood". With babies we start in the Outer Banks (are we asleep or awake? is the baby part of me or separate?). Two's and Fours's are the Appalachian mountains - the peaks of cuteness, walking and talking, the valleys of tantrums and saying "no". The Great Plains is elementary school years where they love us, they mind us (mostly), there is the occasional hail storm or tornado, but it's pretty flat and predictable. The teen years are the Rocky Mountains, majestic and big and dangerous. Here are some random thoughts having spent a good 7 years here.
The View: The view is only achieved by climbing yourself. Also, you can make it to the top and find that it's cloudy, and even though you climbed and you might be in right spot you CAN'T TELL! Sometimes we just have to wait out the clouds. We can't will them away, or positive think them away, or party them away, or exercise them away. Sometimes we just have to wait.
The Crevice: What goes up must come down. When we have accidentally fallen into a crevice we must remember that to get to the view we must keep going. Imagine being in a deep, dark and steep crevice. After we have looked around and found the crevice inhospitable, we need to slowly, baby step by baby step walk up. It's frustrating because once we DECIDE we want out, we want to get out immediately. If we get airlifted out we actually haven't learned anything except how to wait and be rescued. WHEN we fall back into a crevice (we always do!), then we will have experience and practice taking those baby steps (working out, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, having some fun, doing something artistic).
The Long View: The long view, this majestic view is only available AFTER we have crossed the Rocky Mountains ourselves. (or BEFORE we cross the Rocky Mountains, when all we see is the beauty and potential). We can hear other traveler's stories, we can look at photos, we can go on YouTube and watch clips of other people traversing. But after, and ONLY after we do the hard, grueling, rainy, hot, cold, sunny, hungry, boring, tiring hike can we sit back on the plains and see our path unfurl behind us. Even though we notice only the snowcapped glory in the longview, the crevices are still there, and the crevices are what add the contrast, the gratitude and the wisdom.
Perspective: Perspective is earned & experienced (aka there ain't no shortcut). I thought as a CERTIFIED Parent Educator I might dodge a few crevices, because, you know, I KNOW stuff. I read stuff, I write stuff. There are no shortcuts for any of us. We all have to walk across our own Rocky Mountains to get into adult-hood.
FINAL THOUGHT: Invest in good shoes, enjoy your breaks and your views, be sure to hike with good humored friends that aren't judgy, eat nourishing food, minimize the sugar, booze and caffeine (but don't eliminate them!).