My grandson Aiden and I enjoy riding bicycles together, especially in the early summer days, with the fresh eucalyptus scent in the air, and the bright sun on our back. Aiden lacks confidence with directions, so I have recently been teaching him how to navigate by looking at where the sun is in the sky.
Recently I have taken him along some obscure back roads so that he doesn’t know where he is, and then challenging him find his way home. He has enjoyed the challenge and has found his way home twice now without any help from me.
Aiden is growing up, and I am delighted that he has learnt to find the way home.
Going home is something we all relate to, though our definition of home may vary. Usually it is a place where we are loved.
How do we find this place? Well first we have to get lost. Nowadays children are rarely put into a place where they find their way home. Parents are considered negligent if children are left, even in a safe place, for a little while. Getting lost is part of the signal for growing up.
Before I was eligible to get a driving licence (15 years old) I was asked to take a tractor, towing a wheat header (15 feet wide) down a highway to deliver it! The destination was 40 miles away and I was afraid I would get lost as I was on my own.
I didn’t get lost, in fact I found something I have treasured ever since. Self confidence.
Now as it happens the width of the header caused a problem. A bridge on the way was only just the same width, so I left the wide ends of the header embedded in the stone walls of the bridge! How embarrassing to report this to the owner!
What is the relevance of this story? Children need the chance to become adults, to take risks, have accidents, to fail, in order to grow.
Can you find your way home in confidence?