Age has its benefits, they say. Age brings wisdom and a certain amount of earned respect for having lived long enough to learn from one’s mistakes. Age provides a measure of confidence and ease in speaking your mind. These benefits are intangible, unlike the challenges, which seem to take hold of and grip a once, spry young mind and body. Now subjugated to moments of blank slates, occasional incomprehensible speech and a few aches and pains that remind one every day what it means to be over the hill.
Just remember once you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. (Arthur Schopenhauer – BrainyQuote)
I’ve discovered that focusing on the benefits and that over the hill speed, keeps the challenges at bay, at least for now!
I’ve also discovered that being around young people is a guaranteed benefit like no other. We continue to learn and grow in new ways and stretch our minds in new directions just by playing with them and spending time with them.
My advocacy for freedom in educational choices is the topic of most blogs I write. The observations I’ve made with young people, both in and out of schools, continues to intrigue me as I make my way down the other side of that hill. It’s particularly exhilarating to re-experience learning from the perspective of a now two, twelve, fourteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen and twenty one year old. These are my grandchildren. They are my best benefits!
What I see, that almost escaped my purview when raising my own children, is the fascinating way in which the human mind works. Thirty or more years ago, I paid more attention to giving them chores, teaching them manners, and whether or not they brushed their teeth. I assume they taught those important skills to their own children now. As Grammy, I can assist, but the heavy lifting falls on their parents as I reap those said benefits of age.
On a regular basis I am in awe of my grandchildren, every one of them!
Right now, Troy, the two year old, seems to be learning exponentially. His little mind is traveling at warp speed everywhere, every day, every moment. It’s a joy to watch!
The box house… he asked for windows (lots of windows), lights inside, and crayons to make it colorful. He tested its durability by climbing through several of the windows. He wanted a front door with a lock, handle and door bell. Then he proceeded to equip his home with important and beautiful furnishings, like a step stool, a few of his books, his stuffed kitty cat and one of my artificial plants. I didn’t capture the finished product, because we were too into the momentum of creating, but it was a sight to behold.
Troy plays and colors both inside and outside of the box. He enjoys the opportunity for choice, like we all do.
A simple reminder from John Holt. “Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.