LYFE LESSON #001: Life’s Ocean Waves [Parenting Guidance]

Life is an ocean’s waves where some days we swim, some days we drown, and some days we just float on

“life is like an ocean with waves” easily comes to mind as a SoCal native constantly alongside the beach but I’d love to elaborate. What at first glance sounds funny and bizarre, further staring reveals a life gold nugget deep in the ocean waves.

As an innocent child, the ocean’s glimmering shine is seen afar from the sand

Bringing a child to life is always a human experience of natural magic and warmth. For beach-goers, once old enough, parents will present the ocean to their children. Parents keep them safe in the sands as they absorb the captivating, beautiful blue ocean full of hope and life. Yet being the adults they are, parents are aware that there also lies a hidden danger and darkness in the ocean. When one is not careful enough, the ocean can pounce like a lion does on prey. As parents, they preserve the magic for kids by riding out the belief just like believing in Santa Claus or that leaving the light on inside the car is illegal. When the time arrives, parents will teach children what the ocean really is, whether it is out our their own volition or the world as to when it starts.

As a growing child, the distance between sand and sea shortens

A child will be a child as long as they need to be fed, protected, and forgiven as they make mistakes not knowing the true nature of their actions yet. Over time, they grow thoughts and feelings and make decisions all on their own. Parents then start the heart-wrenching process where their little peapod starts various life lessons referred to as the “Rules of the Sea”. Parents will slowly stop holding the child’s hand as they take the first steps for each rule of the sea. Some of these steps will be tall and others will have many steps before coming to a halt once the lesson is learned. This ties into the ocean as parents want to do their best to protect their children from being claimed by the ocean by teaching these Rules of the Sea. The first lesson is to be careful by the shore, then get them to learn to swim and so forth. These in reality are the life lessons be they getting back up after getting knocked down or not letting people’s judgment affect your life. This starts with the children’s version of the Rules of the Sea.

While parents learn their Rules of the Sea, there is no guarantee their children remember their teachings

A point is reached where kids can now frolic by the ocean shore and the anxiety as parents have eased and relaxed a lil bit whilst giving supervision. Life's unraveling of truths is similar to this scenario. Upon taking kids to school and sleepovers, parents slowly but surely grow accustomed to letting their children into the ocean of life. Of course, as parents, doubt will rise as they slowly release their children into the ocean, but that is why it is so critical for them to nurture their children morally right, emotionally aware, and mentally rigid. Now, the heavy truth is: The more aware parents are of their nurture’s impact on their children’s growth, the better they approach refining their nurture so their children do not drown in life’s ocean. This highlights that not all parents are perfect. Nevertheless, parents aware of this nurturing effect will better understand how to hand off all that they can to their children. So that when the day comes that they swim the ocean alone, their children are Olympic-type swimmers to be proud of.

From swimming together to swimming apart, we must remember to breathe

Now the kids are playing outside without supervision or living apart as they start their college life. Whatever the case may be, parents must learn to breathe and relax as their children become adults and grow to be more independent and autonomous. Like leaving them for their first day of school in preschool or kindergarten, it is never easy but necessary. This is why it is so important they are nurtured in preparation for the ocean waves life tends to throw at us. Sadly, there is no magical line of when to stop protecting children from the nasty realities of life and beginning the teachings of how they must protect themselves and preserve their heart and innocence. Regardless of whether it is rushed by growing up at a young age or growing up too late by dealing with hardships later in life after a relatively peaceful life, growing up will happen, and swimming apart will occur, and all of us have to remember to breathe or else our panic will be our downfall. Children may not be the best at everything whether it is sports or accepting life’s truth such as the heavy concept of death. Regardless, together a family should aim to be one breath, one mind just like basketball champion Phil Jackson philosophized.

The ocean is both an amusement park and a dangerous jungle

The ocean is fun to visit and splash around in yet when we lose control of the situation, it becomes dark and scary very quickly. Life is also fun and scary as it truly hangs on a string that can snap at any moment for reasons we may not come to understand until later in life. Parents seek to grow happy with the growth of their children. Yet there is no guarantee of smooth sailing and if bad scenarios occur, parents must accept it wholeheartedly with love and support to the best of their ability. A great piece of art via a poem was made by Sesame Street writer, Emily Perl Kingsley, Welcome to Holland, which in short demonstrates that we dream for the best but life sometimes requires us to let go of dreams in a healthy manner and learn to love reality (this poem was put in front of me after reading No Bad Days: How to Find Joy in Any Circumstance by JT Jester which I recommend). In the end, life truly can be seen as an ocean where some days we swim and some days we drown. Yet some we stay afloat in the midst of it all reminding ourselves of what Dory from Finding Nemo always says, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”.

Ocean’s duality should be hugged tightly as it creates a warmth in the form of powerful awareness

<_-^-_ Temet Nosce ^ Nosce Te Ipsum ^ Know Thyself _-^-_>



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North Long Beach Native, Learned experiencer of the music, engineering, sports, and food worlds (plus many more sprinkled throughout my sporadic writings)