One of my earliest memories is sitting on the kitchen floor surrounded in peas…
I don’t know how old I was but I was still wearing a nappy, so maybe two. I remember my mum cooking around me but my real interest was in the peas. I remember pushing and hitting at them attempting to roll them, or pick them up or something and the biggest worry I had in that moment was not squashing those evasive peas.
I don’t remember what happened before or after this memory. I assume that at some point mum picked me up and the remaining ‘non-floor’ peas (along with something equally exciting) were served as my dinner. And, if I know my mum I’m sure the floor peas didn’t last long and were soon swept into the bin.
Worry plagued me growing up. It moved from peas to parties, school, tests, homework, friendships – I’d often be described as ‘nervous’ or ‘shy’, for pretty good reason. And to be honest I was told it enough that I started finding identity in it, believing that it was who I was. I’m not sure that the tests I took at school taught me much other than that the world wanted to label me as something – to tell me if I was a success or a failure as soon as possible.
My children’s experience of school has been very different to my own – it’s a place where Adlai has found even more confidence and he has loads of fun. His five-year-old self is a long way from worried and I’m thankful. But if we keep adding in peas, soon we’ll have nowhere to step.
I have different worries now – you know – more sensible things. Adulthood has taught me that there are bigger, more ‘important’ things to worry about. Things like health, money and property. Though no matter how many insurance policies you buy in reality each of them are just as difficult to control as the peas that teased my two-year-old self.
The truth is that the floor is covered with peas and that the more you look for them – the more you will likely find. I don’t think confidence can be found in denying the presence of the peas – rather it’s on the perspective with which we see them. I am thankful to say that I now consider myself a confident person and my identity is not found in worry or shyness. But, that journey took me a while and I spent too much time focused on the peas and not enough time focused on the life between them. Between the peas life is pretty awesome and I’m keen for my boys to know life to the full.