December 15, 2012

Adaptation & Children

This has been quite a change, obviously, for everybody.

New country, new culture, new home, new foods, new climate, new friends...  Lots and lots of changes happening.  It got me thinking about the benefits of pushing myself out to the edges of my comfort zone.  Why that might be a really good thing.  

What happens to ones spirit when we stay safely tucked away in our cozy little spot?  What might we be missing out on if we choose to stay there?  Maybe for some people, staying in their "safe spot" works really well, and that's truly what brings out the best in them.  Or maybe the thought of leaving there scares them enough to keep them in place?  

Of  course, the answers to those questions will be very personal, but allow me to share mine...

I think it's a really good thing for our children to watch us struggle and challenge ourselves.  This experience has provided many invitations for both of those things!  The struggles haven't been dangerous or life-altering, by any means, but even the little things like figuring out which store to shop at and how to get by (living in the country) without a CAR gives us opportunities to practice our adaptability skills.

By watching us try - and fail...  and try again -  and succeed, they see how the whole process works and that they can roll along through it with grace and gratitude.  That's what I want them to know and carry with them as they encounter their own challenges throughout life.

I want them to know it's safe to jump out on a ledge, take a risk, leap without a net.  That they can follow their hearts yearnings, even if it's a little on the scary side.  That they'll survive and conquer whatever bumps come between them and their dreams.  That they might even thrive doing just that!

There are many families who would love to do something like this, but their excuses get the best of them:

"... that would be so fun, but we don't want our kids to miss school..." -- ugh. ;)

"... that would never work for us, because our kids really love their neighborhood/school/house/friends"

"... what a great experience, but it would be so hard on our kids to be away from (insert person/place/thing here)"

"... we wouldn't want to change things up for our kids so much; that would be really hard on them"

THE reason we're doing this is for our kids, and what this journey can offer them!!!  This is an opportunity to learn about so many other options, people, ways of life, critters and on and on.  This is a beautiful opportunity for them to learn about themselves.  I don't know how this experience will impact them, but I do know that it will.

Isn't that what life is all about, after-all?  Experiences.  What's the point if we're not up for something new?