Learning from a “Wild One”PC: Unsplash

The life of a toddler is full, adventurous, and sometimes terrifying for this mama’s heart. Always keeping me on my toes, he has the luxury to not know what fear is. The common consensus is that he is a “wild one”.

This little boy runs at full speed all day long, just stopping long enough to have a snack and continue with whatever adventure he finds ahead. As his mom, I am half terrified and jealous. This little spirited boy scares me, because his well-being is my upmost concern, but I am also jealous of such freedom and willingness to go. He has no boundaries, illusions, or doubts. He just goes for it; how I wish I could do the same! This hyper-active and rambunctious toddler has taught me so much in his short life, I am sure he has an infinite number of lessons to teach me from here on out.

The one I am learning now is to let go and live fully. He is the embodiment this lesson; I would know, I have a front-row seat to all the action. He doesn’t ever question himself (though sometimes I wish he would) he just sees what he is after and goes straight for it. He lives life full and loud, while I am chasing behind him just trying to keep up. He has a heart of gold and a sweetness that is undeniable, but his spirit is untamed and untainted by the world.

As we grow we learn to tame the “wild” sides of ourselves. In some context this is a necessary part of life, to mature and grow into the people we are meant to be. It also can be a sad reality, that we sometimes lose the very essence of who we are. Pulled down by the weight of whatever adulthood drops on us. We learn to be safe, to avoid risks and live most of our lives never trying anything exciting.

I am fond of the everydayness of life; I like to live in the middle. Where it is calm and known; living my own “wild one” dreams scare me on a whole new level. It means taking the leap and daring to risk, which is hard, because unlike my sweet boy I know fear. I know what failure feels like and unlike him I am less willing to get up and try again. It is easier to watch him be the risk-taker and encourage his spirit than let go of my fearfulness.

I can’t just watch from the sidelines; I must be the example of what it looks like to live life with a willing spirit. To take the risk and willingly try again.

So, I must try, for his sake and for mine. I must dive into what I fear and live out what I know to be true. I want to have that freedom I see in my son, that I so desperately crave. Unlike my little boy I also have knowledge and wisdom on my side to know how far I can go and when I need to take a step back. This is the advantage of growing up and getting older.

I hope to keep learning and trying, just as he does. People always ask about what he is learning, but no one ever asks what he is teaching me.

I pray that I am willing to learn from his spontaneous love of life, that even when I am tired or frustrated that I see the miracle that he is, running a million miles. When he gets older and slows down, I hope we both live ready to run, learn and not be afraid, that we know there is some treasure in every risk and that we were willing to take them to find it.