If there’s a three-word phrase I’ve heard as much as “Just you wait…” as a new parent it would be “Enjoy it because….”. Both phrases are meant to inspire me to appreciate what I have in the here and now. But, I have to say, they both make my skin crawl. As if parenting wasn’t challenging enough, people have to constantly remind me of how much harder it’s going to get. Or that there is something worth dreading on the journey ahead.
I have always been careful how I used the term “viral” when it comes to social media, but my colleagues and I were pleasantly surprised when one of our recent films, Eye of the Beholder, was chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick, got 280,000 views (and counting), and was also picked up by Upworthy.com and the Huffington Post Canada. I was especially ecstatic because I had somehow managed to balance the responsibilities of motherhood with my work on the script for this amazingly rewarding collaborative project. I was also able to use my experience taking my daughter outdoors as inspiration for the film. You can watch it here on adventurousparents.com.
I just spent the week at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the annual gathering of adventurers, adrenaline junkies, mountain artists and authors up at The Banff Centre. Being a new parent, I entered this year’s festival with a very different outlook on what it means to lead an adventurous lifestyle. As I listened to people’s stories of epic climbs and expeditions, I was curious to know how these “real deal” adventurers felt about parenthood. Did they want to have children? Had they chosen not to? If they did have children, how were they be able to balance life as a mother or father with their adventurous pursuits?
How does a life of adventure without kids compare to a life of adventure with kids?
I have always loved being a student, which is perhaps why I spend a considerable amount of time researching, reading, writing and processing information. And something that carries me through each day of parenting, whether I’m enjoying quiet play with my daughter at home, taking care of all the other ‘stuff’ in life, or spending time in the great outdoors, is the opportunity to learn from this new human being. I feel so privileged to be a student to such a humble and generous teacher each day. So, here’s a very short post today to share a bit of what Maya has taught me so far.