Weeks and months have passed, the days have grown longer, brighter and warmer, and just as the seasons change and evolve, so too have the members of The Beandricks family since last we checked in. With the long, dark and cold Winter (the darkest in recent history) now a thing of the past, being outdoors and exposing the soul to the sun is something of a welcome change for entire village. The neighbours have returned from places south and beyond, explorers from bordering communities have begun flocking the streets once more, shopping for their knick-knacks and baubles, while the bird’s song fills the morning air. Yes, Spring has sprung and Father has embraced it with welcome arms, taking to the outdoors, re-discovering old, forgotten memories, once buried beneath a blanket of snow, and grounding himself in a new mindset as planning ahead for the coming season takes hold.
With this, Father has once again taken to reflection, deep into consideration for how he has changed and what he has learned since he last documented his thoughts.
Lesson Twenty-Four, In which Father is Reminded of Why
Over the years 42-years of life, Father has always sought to learn, to grow, and, perhaps more than anything: create. Be it through music, the construction of a backyard playhouse, or some artistic expression of film, he is always looking for an output for his thoughts and emotions.
For the past two years, in particular, this expression has reared itself in the form of a journal, which he has kept up weekly, making attempts with each entry to test and stretch his approach; be it rhyme, riddle, fable, or providing his readers choice, he thinks himself clever and is always in pursuit of new ideas within his own brain.
As of late, however, he has felt pressure to stretch even further; to appease the audience and present something entirely new and innovative, and the pressure tends to show…
“Daddy, what are you doing?”
“Thinking, my dear, just thinking.”
“About what? Your face looks funny.”
“I am trying to come up with new ideas within my writing that will keep people happy and entertained. It’s difficult sometimes, and Daddy is just concentrating and struggling to find a fresh thought.”
“But Daddy, should’t you create things that make you happy first?”
Lesson Twenty-Five, In which Father Discovers Boundaries
Never one to cause conflict, Father has always struggled with his inherent need to keep others happy and at peace, even if it comes at the sacrifice of his own well-being. He is quick to dismiss his own desires and wants, for fear of appearing selfish or inconsiderate. Fortunately for Father, he has a wonderful partner in his life.
“What are you going to get up to this beautiful, sunny morning, my dashing husband?”
“Oh, I’m not so sure yet, my love. I was considering going for a little bike ride along the trail, but I know there is lots to do around here, so perhaps I’ll get to that later.”
“I think that sounds like a wonderful idea! Please, do go ahead, I will watch the girls and take care of breakfast.”
“No, no, I feel bad leaving you with the chores, I’ll pitch in and help out the family.”
“My dear, sweet, triumphant specimen of a man, don’t you see? Taking care of yourself is helping out our family.”
Lesson Twenty-Six, In Which Father learns to not interfere
Not long ago, the youngest of the Beandricks family had request to have her ears pierced. This was something she had talked about doing when she reached the age of 16; an age that she, herself, had picked out, and was decidedly confident would be the right time for her. Upon reaching her 6th birthday, however, she made the request to alter that time frame to the immediate present, stating:
“I want to prove to myself that I can be brave.”
And so, she did exactly that.
Following the weeks of patience, maintenance and care that it takes to ensure to stave off any infection, the time had come to replace the initial set of studs with something more personal and special.
“Mommy and I got you these new earrings, my dear, would you like to try them on?”
“I love them, Daddy, yes please!”
“Then let me help you with replacing them.”
“No, Daddy, I want to do it myself.”
“It can be tricky though, my dear, let me at least show you how to do it.”
Days upon days went by, and still she struggled to discover the technique to achieve her goal.
“My dear, if you would allow me to help you, then I could get those switched out for you very quickly.”
“No thank you, Daddy. Learning to do this on my own is something I am going to have to learn, and that is something that I want to be proud of.”
Lesson Twenty-Seven, In which Father Doesn’t Question
There are, on occasion, lessons that come along which do not require a background story, fable, anecdote or context. Times when words float your way which carry their own meaning and, while one may be tempted to ask “why” or dig further, deep down inside you recognize that all you really need to do is stop and say “thank you for sharing.”
Words such as:
“Daddy, the most important thing I try to do everyday, no matter where I am, is to always stop to think of ‘Them’ “
Lesson Twenty-Eight, In which Father is simply proud
Just as the lesson that came before this, there are times when Father stops in tracks when he hears his children speak their truth. While his oldest has expressed her exercise in mindfulness to consider the needs, wants and implications towards others, it brings him much joy to hear the youngest express a like-minded sentimentality.
“What’s on your mind, my youngest daughter? You appear to be very focussed on your thoughts.”
“Hi Daddy, I was just thinking about different ways that I could show others how good it feels to be nice.”
Another season done, as another one approaches, and Father continues to embrace his surroundings. With perhaps the most adventurous months of the year for the Beandricks family directly ahead, he is excited and encouraged for what will undoubtedly come next…