Hanging out with children makes you rethink about your way of thinking, the way you deal with things and existence in general.
I’ve been babysitting two little brothers for one full year now, and I have realized that it has been a very positive experience for me as they are instructive and fun working hours. Of course, there are some very hard moments as well, for example when they throw tantrums, fight with each other over candy or shout at me while hitting me with their little fists. But I always like to look at the bright side. They are both sweet and clever children from whom I can learn and re-learn a lot.
In this era, being in your twenties means being in a weird stage of your life, a stage between boyhood and adulthood: you have more responsibilities than when you were a teenager – or at least you’re supposed to – but not enough to consider yourself and be considered as a grown up. Theoretically, you could act as a teenager and do all the stuff you used to do in high school, but it wouldn’t be the same, first of all because I’ve already been through all of that and it has no longer my interest, and second of all because I consider that chapter of my life closed.
Does studying in University instead of having a nine-till-five job allow you to behave as if you were in a sort of prolonged adolescence? Maybe it’s living at your parent’s, with them supporting you mainly financially, that doesn’t emancipate you. This is my case probably. Therefore, when I’m with the children, watching them play with no worries and smiley faces, the boulder on my chest gets a little lighter. I don’t have to think about the future and be anxious about it, I just focus on the moment and enjoy it. That’s also one of the key principles of Taoism, which says that “this instant” is the only one actually existing; there is no more a past and there isn’t a future yet, so what’s the point in worrying anyway?
On the other hand, they do make me think about the future, because some day I’d like to have some of my own. My own children, a family and a caring husband to whom I’ll return from work and whom I’ll kiss on the lips, and we’ll have dinner all together chatting about what happened during the day. It’s not a need dwelling inside of me, it’s something I desire when this picture takes reality in my mind and showers me with joy and peacefulness. And while I’ll be growing up those children, I’ll grow up with and for them.
And maybe the children I used to babysit when I was younger will be at the University themselves, wondering about my same questions.