Curiosity Satisfied

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Funny but true story. My son, the eldest and most reserved of the three, came up to me the other day and asked if he could climb a tree out the back of our house and pee from it—he’s nine.

Immediately, in my head, I was thinking, "WTF dude?" Of course, I kept that to myself even though I am sure he saw through my face of disgust.

When we lived in the city, there’s no way I would have answered yes to his barbaric request, but I caught myself thinking, “David, what’s the problem with it?”

In its wisdom, the universe chose my child as my teacher. In a split second, my son’s request flipped my social principles upside down. Rather than the universe bludgeoning me with a lesson, it asked me, “What’s wrong with peeing from a tree? What’s wrong with wanting to pee from a tree? Why don’t you want to pee from a tree, and what would your son get from doing it?”

While this could look like I am extracting more from my son’s odd request than what’s actually there, the truth is, the voice inside my head did really start reeling this way.

“There is really nothing wrong with peeing from a tree,” I thought. “Wanting to pee from a treehellipthere’s nothing wrong with that eitherhellip I don’t want to pee from a tree because, well, I don’t know,” and then I thought, “Theodore, my son, he would feel like the king of his castle if he peed from a tree.”

“Sure, go ahead,” I said.


With my children being in a place tucked away from the chaos of the city, where there are fewer friends, fewer kids on the block getting into seemingly stupid arguments, and fewer ‘normal’ things to do, and now with our Lord of the Ring type trees needing to be climbed, coves, crannies, and nooks needing exploration, and plots to build secret mazes through our wheat fields, our kids are shapeshifting into new kinds of themselves.

As a result, I too am in a place of unwinding. I am slowly becoming more relaxed as a parent I think (my wife may disagree). I am surprised by the genuine affection my kids show one another (they really did not get along that often before we moved), and these days, I am witnessing their curiosity being satisfied.

As I was plotting out this blog post I had a brief conversation with my wife about this last point. Something happens to us when our curiosity becomes satisfied. Yes, we grow, we learn, but more, there is a feeling within that is noticeable, even when faint—it’s delight.

As adults, I believe we lose sight of this phenomenon. At its freshest and most robust, we can see it in our kids though. If I can label curiosity as a willingness to know that which, in the moment, is unknown, you can see and hear it when your kids surmount new obstacles or push past old boundaries.

For my youngest son, his delight is in his tone at bedtime when he explains all the new things he has done that day. For the middle child, my only daughter, her delight is in her grasping higher branches in the tree than yesterday, and for my oldest son, his delight sometimes comes late. It’s not when he falls out of the tree and curses the wind for it, but his delight comes the next day after he tries again and succeeds.

It’s not as if there are more opportunities when you’re out in the boonies to satisfy your curiosity, but rather, there is more notable mental and physical space that comes when you and yours are living the specific lifestyle that fulfills you.

Apparently, for my oldest, that’s peeing from a tree.

What fulfills you the most? Are you or someone you love the ‘homesteading’ type? Fill us in with your stories, and share with others who you think might smile or get a chuckle from this.

David Regnier

How to make your first 10K online!

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