The Ripple Out: Go Lady, GO!
Little hands, giggles, eyes looking up at me and arms stretched up as code for “carry me”, peekaboo, singsongs, allowing them to ‘help’ you, playing hide and seek a billion times and acting surprised when they always hide in the same one of two places.
Then, heartfelt conversations in the car, calls when they’re down, listening to them dream about all the possibilities and opportunities life has to offer. Actually seeing their pride when they buy their first gift for you with their hard-earned money. Being told that they’re “treating this time”.Their expressions of gratitude, not just for being treated to dinner but for your time … because sometimes it’s a coffee they want. They just want your time because they love you. The kind of love you have from years of being there for them when they’re now old enough to know that you weren’t obligated in any way.
It was all worth it: playing superheroes for what felt like an eternity, kicking the soccer ball around, being the ‘sportscaster’ as they play hockey and pretend to be professional players, sharing the new gingerbread house tradition around Christmas that would result in a terrible mess all over both the table and floor, reading the same books over and over until we knew them by heart, fixing make-shift blanket forts repeatedly, staying in an uncomfortable position as not to wake them. Even the projectile vomit, diaper change fiascos and consoling them when they were too young to understand mom and dad would, in fact, be back. It was all sooooo worth it. In fact, most of it was actually amazing, but what wasn’t was inexplicably, most definitely and without a doubt worth it.
Even the young ones show a level of gratitude and awareness that I would never be cognizant of if I hadn’t been an active aunt.
A few weeks ago, when I was at my brother’s home feeling rather miserable, whining about everything that was going wrong. My eight year-old nephew was on the couch watching his beloved Spiderman, when he interrupted the conversation to look up at me and say, “… but you’re only the greatest aunt ever”. I can’t tell you what that did to me. I’ve received a billion ‘I love yous’, ‘thank yous’, kisses, hugs and drawings over the years … but his need to make me feel better with the only way he knew how and the only truth he knew about me was a massive jolt to the heart. It wasn’t cute … it was profound. This little boy loved me and he got up from the couch and left his favourite program to remind me that I mattered to him. I would rather matter to anyone of my nephews and nieces than anyone else in the world.
Make no mistake, I may not be a parent but I would give up my life in a heartbeat for anyone of them instinctively.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing six of them move into adulthood and they’re just as loving now and they’re entirely independent. So, maybe I don’t see them all the time but we’re in touch frequently by text or calls and we make the time we do have count.
I’ve got four left that still require affection, love, support and help in the form of action on a daily basis. Four of them will still need me to tend to some wounds and tell them how incredible they are and I want to be there for all of it. I wouldn’t miss a thing.
They will all be adults someday and they’ll have families of their own. I want to take advantage of every moment because every stage is incredible. I want to live by their schedule when there are things that matter to them. I don’t want to miss any of it. I want to be around for the last of the little ones, when their parents need to be somewhere else. I want to be the ‘go to’ person.
So, these kids are a massive why. Yes, flexibility is what I want but these ten individuals are a really important drive to attain that flexibility.
This totally resonates!
I just got a call on the weekend from my friend way up North. He and his daughter are visiting his folks for March Break, so I will be going for a little road trip whoop whoop!
This is so amazing, and it is only possible because I have the flexibility in my schedule. Even if I didn’t already have the days off, I would be able to switch my work days to accomodate the spontaneous visit. I love this! My vision is not a “business” yet, but this gives me a great reason to keep working hard to achieve that. I mean, I am already reaping the rewards ha!
This is so important to me too, this visit itself. I just adore my friend’s daughter. Having the ability to drop everything and spend some time with her not only feeds my desire to spend time with her, but also provides for her a positive female role model, outside her family. I know she thinks I’m pretty cool too, and looking back in my own experience, those friends of my parents who thought I was the cat’s meow too, were a huge influence on my self confidence. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I hope it does.
In short, when she is around me she can feel how important she is. That’s a huge why. Young women desperately need that double barrel of positive experience, a positive, powerful female influence, and the knowledge that she (the young woman) is important as an individual.
So, yes, why flexibility? Because it ripples out. It’s a well-rounded game changer. When I experience personal flexibility, there is more of me to go around.
Thanks for this! I knew it as a personal why, but flexibility acts like the money-why… when I feed my schedule-flexibility (a form of abundance), other women benefit, and the why of CW is accomplished. I totally see that in what you mean to your nieces and nephews; they benefit from your availability.