“Give it to me!”
Children, it’s all about them. At what age did we grow out of it? When do we learn that we are not the center of the universe? I suppose some people never learn that lesson.
I’ve worked with small children for a number of years. It is quite a marvel to watch them grow “into themselves”. They learn to share and be polite to others. (At least, most learn these things.) They don’t actually catch on to taking turns until they are close to two and a half.
As a child, I was selfish and spoiled. Being the youngest of six children, I was catered to quite a bit. And then suddenly, I was the only one left at home. You probably think that is when I really became spoiled, but not true. I might have taken center focus, but my parents were surely not suckers! I was told if I was being unreasonable, which I am sure was quite often.
I got married and learned the art of negotiation. Still, I struggled to make it all about me. I don’t think it was until I had my first child that I realized I’d give my life without hesitation to give him life. It then became all about the children.
We became a family of givers. We volunteered within our community. We taught our children responsibility and compassion.
Our children grew up. We now find we have lots of time on our hands, but we seem to volunteer less and less. While we still do for others, we take time for us, meaning each other and ourselves. I think we’ve earned this “right” and deserve this opportunity. Yet still, at times I feel guilty. I spend my days nurturing others and wish I could still nurture my children, but alas they have grown independent. My job is done. As gratifying as that is, it is sad none the less.
I’ve always been a person with many creative hobbies that give me an outlet of self-expression. Writing is one of them. It has always been mostly about me…exploring my thoughts and more recently my spirituality. And now I wonder, am I making it all about me. It’s a two fold answer for me. When I am examining my spirituality, it is not just all about me. It involves something much bigger and greater than me, and it involves everyone I touch to an extent. And then again, I sometimes wonder if it is all just selfishness on my part. In my process, I’m trying to find connections to the mundane. As I often point out, I’m attempting to find the extraordinary in ordinary moments. I’m becoming appreciative of my blessings.
As I listen to the rain spit and splatter on the roof and I see it fall from a cloudy colorless sky onto the needles of the tall pines in my yard, I can’t help but feel the wet freshness wash across my soul. I am both soothed and renewed. I wonder how many others smiled with the grass today as the rain encouraged us to grow. No, I don’t think there is anything selfish about nature…it’s here for all of us. We can play in it or ponder over it. The choice is ours. So, while we grown ups might not be the center of the universe, maybe the universe is the center of us.