Sixteenth in the series – Letters to my kids
As a father one of the delights I had when you were babies was watching you laugh and smile. Over the years you’ve continued to teach me to be humble and occasionally have done a great job at reminding me of the things our society sorrowfully convinced me to forget.
Our societal norms and rules are intended to prevent really bad human behavior. In the process though, they’ve been abused and some of the great things you knew were good and natural as a baby have become non-existent, controversial, or just taboo.
Some of the great things you’ve taught me that I hope you can remember as you continue to get older and get pressured by society.
- Farting – yes flatulence was so natural when you were kids… in fact I remember watching smiles cross your faces when you were months old and then smelling why you were so happy. As someone who’s done serious athletic training and eating a healthy diet, I can assure you. Farting is natural and good.
- Laughing – yes I laugh occasionally… but kids laugh on average 300 times… PER DAY. Once they get stuck dealing with the society we’ve created that’s down to an average of 5 times per day as an adult. I don’t think I need to explain why laughing is good, but I sure hope I can get back to 300 times per day.
- Crying – you cried all the time as kids and I like everyone in society probably did too much to tell you not to. The macho desire to call someone a sissy because their crying makes no sense at all. We can’t exactly blow steam out of out of our ears like Yosemite Sam… we can drop a few tears when our emotions are overwhelmed (happy, sad, confused, doesn’t matter). You’ll be able to make smarter decisions if you can blow off that steam and focus on the important stuff.
- Running – I remember watching you guys run through the grass in your bare feet. It was a beautiful sight to see. You always landed forward on your feet. It’s plain and simple, no toddler heal strikes. So why is it that when we grow up and buy a pair of running shoes we think that what came naturally to us as a toddler should be thrown out the window because a brand with a vested interest in our pocketbook is telling us we should?
- Risk Taking – You may not think it now because you’ve already had the risk taking beaten out of you. When you were younger though you were a huge risk taker! Take walking for example…. Walking is ridiculously risky. Think about it… if you’re a baby and crawling around just fine, why would you ever get the stupid idea to ditch the safety of being close to the ground for the huge risk of injury involved in walking? If you throw in the statistics around injury to babies learning to walk the proposition is actually dumb. There is no margin of safety. Yet surrounded by the face of encouragement, babies are convinced to make the leap. When you guys made the transition you tried a hundred different ways to walk and after failing 99 times figured out how to make it work.
- Curiosity – This is one that you taught me early on and I want to simply thank you for it. All the ones above I learned from you as the years went on… but curiosity is something I recognized that you taught me when you guys were 1 and 3 yrs old. I would watch as you would explore things in such different ways, your curiosity being influenced by the growing knowledge of the world in your head. It’s lead me to be more curious in my own life and has resulted in many great things.