The Inuit spent every winter passing down the oral history and legends of elders to the next generation. When hunting was at a lull, the storytellers spent time with the children, guiding them and reminding them that they are the torchbearers of tomorrow. I was not born in those times or those lands, but I have spent many days learning from their wisdom; be it over Iqaluk or reading a great book. One of the lessons I learned is to spend quality time with children. As summer frees up the time for our children from regular school learning, it presents an ideal opportunity for me to try and set the right growth conditions for them.
I tend to think of summer break as a blessing. This is our time to make castles at the beach, to jump on a swing or to simply lay in our backyard and look at the clouds go by. As summer is notorious for speeding up the hands of time and hastening its own departure, most of our activities are planned outdoors and revolve around the family. The focus of these activities is finding avenues that open doors for learning.
This year, my eldest enters the workforce for the first time. A large component of growing, in my humble opinion, is to learn how those around us live. At his age, it is easy to go out with friends and spend $20 in one afternoon. A summer job is an excellent teacher of the hard work behind earning those $20. What is more important is a life-lesson that I hope for him to learn; that in the real world, people do not always behave in a manner that you would expect.
I am certain that after a hard week’s work, when we lay on the beach, listening to the ocean’s heart beating and feel the wind that hurries along the clouds, there will be many discussions about why things happen the way they do. And that is the growth that is important. That is the growth that I strive to achieve.
As for summer being a blister, that is a story for another day.
Till we meet again, may the ice cream drip down your arms and the laughter of family warm your heart …