If you have children who attend a particular Gold Coast private school, you know about the Lion at the front of the school. I noticed this week that his back is becoming shiny and smooth from all the attention he gets on a very regular basis. Our children call him Aslan, like the Lion from Narnia tales.
My young daughter would love to spend time riding Aslan at least twice a day (at drop off and collection) and sometimes it takes all my powers of persuasion to encourage her to keep moving and continue on to what we need to do.
It was on one of our many, many walks past Aslan, that my daughter hopped up on his back, looked me in the eye and said, “you ride too, Mummy”.
Now it needs to be said that I am no longer an athlete.
It is no longer easy to climb on statues.
And it looks pretty crazy when I do.
But I dumped my bag, grinned at my daughter and hopped on behind her.
I have rarely seen the same look of admiration in her eyes.
It surprised me actually because as a full time Mum, I am with my children, all the time. Like, ALL the time! But it was in that moment I realized that I supervise permanently, really well, but how much do I join in?
Do I sit on the floor and play with the dolls house?
Do I take the time to help build the Lego creations rather than simply admire them?
Do I let the children push me on the playground equipment?
One day I did that too, and frankly….it was fun!
What I learnt that day as I sat, unhurried, in the sun, chatting to my daughter about the far off lands we were riding too and all the adventures we would have when we got there, was that as much as my children need me to watch over them and keep them safe, they also need me to be with them. To be present. To ride the Lion. To hop on the merry-go-round. To attempt a substandard Lego creation at my son’s side. Go and have a ride on Aslan….I dare you. It’s more fun than you think.