Howling at the Moon – Reflecting on influential adults of my youth

Filed under: Opinion |

by Sylene Argent

Well, I sure hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable holiday. It seems even though many of us received some time off to enjoy visits with family and friends over the Christmas break, all that running around can become quite draining even though it is also rewarding.

Though I had a lot of running around to do over the Christmas holidays, as most of us do, I had a cute moment happen to me; one that made me smile, but, more importantly, indirectly made me reflect upon those adults who influenced me when I was a kid.

I was in a local retail store when I overheard a little girl call out to her mom. It was busy that day, so even though I heard her voice call out, my brain didn’t process what she had said, assuming she was pointing out something displayed upon one of the over-burdened shelves that had caught her eye.

It wasn’t until she repeated, “Look mom, it’s the boss of the town,” did I snap out of my tired, yet focused, shopping-mode to realize she was talking about me. Her mother kindly pointed out I worked for the paper in town as was not the ‘boss.’

It made me smile. How cute. I suppose I never really considered how my position may look from the eye of one of our youngsters. I joked that I am only allowed to be the boss on the weekends and went about my shopping.

I think we can too often forget whatever we do in our day-to-day lives is a lesson we are teaching our youth. We are role models whether we want to be or not. With every action we take, to every word we say, we are showing our young people how to handle situations and how to behave. We are also, hopefully, inspiring them.

I remember when my grade school class was visited by professionals. My mind would warp into overdrive on how I could be just like that, too, one day, if I studied and worked hard enough.

In grade one, we had a career day. All of my classmates dressed up as what they wanted to be when they got older. We paraded around the grade two classroom in our carefully thought-out costumes. I remember I dressed up as a teacher, wearing one of my mum’s white sweaters as a dress. I carried my pink suitcase as my briefcase. I felt very grown-up and that is a big deal when you’re a kid.

I don’t think my aspirations to become a teacher lasted very long. But, the influence some of my teachers, and other role models I had, certainly helped me to want to strive to be my very best, whether or not they sent that message along on purpose.

I’m sure we can all look back and think about those adults who influenced us when we were children. I know now, being an adult, I certainly didn’t appreciate those adults who volunteered to organize events for us kids, or dedicated themselves to being weekly leaders for groups, as much as I should have. I assumed they did it because they got as much joy out of it as we kids did.

As an adult, I’m sure many of those volunteers felt a sense of obligation to ensure the programs were available for us to enjoy. But, now I can understand the sacrifice of those dedicated volunteers and I certainly appreciate it more.