I like animals, but I wouldn’t say I am especially drawn to them.
I was given the gift of mothering a young man that lives and breathes all things nature and animal.
He dreams about common animals and exotic ones.
He knows a million random facts about animals and insects I’d never heard of until he introduced me to them.
His presence in our family has resulted in a flock of chickens, fish, a cat and a dog.
All my kids cherish the pets in our home, but my 8 year old – there is just something different. His unique skills and passions are most evident when nature and animals come into the picture.
About four years ago, Chris came home and shared with me something one of his mentors shared with him. It was the concept that when our skills and passions intersect with opportunities we find our ‘sweet spot’. Chris and I have talked about that concept a lot in recent years as we make decisions regarding work, dreams, and future plans. In the past, we’ve talked about it related to us as adults. Although, I think in many ways it has been an underlying theme of how we approach parenting.
Lately, it has been on my mind more.
How can I help my kids discover their skills? How can I help them recognize their passions? How can I find opportunities for them where they experience what it feels like when those skills and passions intersect?
I know a lot of adults that don’t know what they are good at or what they are passionate about in life. For most of us, it takes an outside influence (a parent, a friend, a mentor) to help us discover those things or point out what they see in us. I know that thankfully parenting doesn’t end when my kids are no longer under my roof. However, I also know the quantity of time I have with them will most likely be greatest during the first two decades of their lives. It is an exciting adventure to get to watch them and help them discover those unique skills and passions early in life. It is even more exciting to me to think about exploring ways and opportunities for them to experience it all intersecting.
It will look totally different for each kid, which makes it both incredibly challenging and fun.
For my 8 year old – he is an animal whisperer. Right now his skills and passions intersect when he is given the opportunity to own a pet. It seems ordinary and simple today, but cuddling on the couch with his dog is only the beginning. Skills. Passions. Opportunities. Walking alongside my kids as they discover their ‘sweet spots’ is walking the good life. Parenting is my favorite adventure.