"How to become the person you want your kids to be"

Some of you may remember my mother's health scare a few months ago, when I had to rush back to Florida. She was suffering from a critical drop in blood pressure and heart rate, and was in a bad way. It turned out her medication mix was wrong.

Kids need to create just for the fun of it.

Kids need to create just for the fun of it.

Foto: Photo by Gaurav Verma on Unsplash

Engelska2024-03-18 09:00

Thankfully, after a six-week recovery, she pulled through.

This Easter week, we are planning on taking a road trip. Myself, my mother, and one son. 

We’re flying to Stockholm and then renting a car. And driving it to Denmark. And then Germany. France. UK. The Netherlands. And back again. Yes, it’s a little insane. And no, my Swedish husband is not going, sensibly choosing to stay at home.

It’s daunting. I will be the only one driving and, in the UK, this will be the first time I’ll be driving on the wrong side of the road. 

But I’ve done scary things before. 

Moving to another country. Writing a novel. Taking up art again. Interviewing newcomers for cooking articles. Writing a newspaper column. 

I’ve always considered myself a lifetime learner, but being from an overly-capitalist nation, that learning, as an adult, was always tied to making money in some way. 

Lately, I’ve tried to look at learning and doing as though a child again. Before adults started saying things like, “Creating art is nice, but you can’t make a career out of it.”

As a child I embraced all learning with unbridled curiosity. I rarely worried about the final outcome; I just reveled in the act of doing.

Somewhere along the way, many of us lose that sense of adventure. We become preoccupied with societal expectations, financial stability, and other adult responsibilities. We forget that there is value in learning and being creative without the need for external validation. 

You don’t need to post that art piece on Instagram, waiting anxiously for engagement. What you’re doing has value, even if no one else sees it. 

I wonder if our kids will ever know the feeling I recall from my early years. Society today is inundated with images of perfection, and I worry that this will cause the act of creativity to be overshadowed by the pursuit of approval.

Through the celebration of creation, adventure, and learning for its own sake, hopefully we can pave the way forward toward a world where imagination thrives. Dare to create without fear. 

Remember. No one else needs to see it. Be the person you want your kids to be. So do the art. Write the story. Take the road trip.

Celebrate life.

This is a column and the views are the author's own.