Forever Young

Dinosaurs go extinct when they lose touch with their inner child.

Raising T, a child with endless energy and a disability called FASD, can feel like I’m aging in double time – but it keeps me young.

Even when I’m exhausted by T, I am amused by his imagination, as he turns our home into his creative playground – one day a fort, another day a race track or a McDonald’s drive thru.

Playing with T energizes my mind and brings a different perspective to other areas of my life, be it personal or work.

I recently reflected about the importance of not losing touch with our inner child – and how we can keep that spirit alive.

In my early 40s, I still love my comics, childhood shows, horror movies, and video games.

I’ve tried with limited success to pass onto T my childhood interests – such as the Power Rangers. Despite the dinosaur themes, T has shown no interest so far. 😆

Meeting Amy Jo Johnson, the original Pink Power Ranger, in 2014. She also lives in Toronto and after losing a bet with a costar, she showed up in costume at Dundas Square to play her guitar.

It’s about building time for self care, including carving out alone time for yourself.

It’s about staying curious about what’s current and being open to trying things out.

It’s about doing our best to not let hardships chip away at our childlike optimism – while staying grounded and pragmatic.

Meeting the late Jason David Frank, who played the popular Green Power Ranger, Tommy, at Fan Expo in 2018. I can’t wait to take T to his first fan convention event. He will surely love it.

Two weekends ago, the hubby and I introduced T to the original Jurassic Park movie, which came out 30 years ago.

I remember watching it around T’s age and finding it scary – so this would be T’s first horror movie.

He loved it! Although we watched it over two days, after he stopped it during the intense T-Rex scene and chastised us, “Did you want to give me nightmares!?” 😆

After he finished the movie, we played Everest, this time we were taking a drive through Jurassic Park and were being attacked by the T-Rex.

Did you want to guess who roleplayed as the loud and destructive T-Rex?

At the Royal Ontario Museum last summer.

Being T’s parent teaches me so much about resiliency, especially when things feel hard, exhausting or overwhelming.

One of T’s strengths is his ability to bounce back from things – every day is a new day.

Whether that’s because he’s a child or because of his disability, it’s a good lesson for me to stay the course and keep the faith.

This past Friday, we received a lovely email from his teacher. Each student created a video related to a reading and writing assignment about dinosaurs.

This was T’s work. He did awesome! Hearing his sweet voice reading, and the growth in his skills, was a wonderful way to start the weekend!

These moments are what keep me going.

40 thoughts on “Forever Young

    1. Thanks Faith. We are so proud of how he’s grown and continues to grow. Academics can be a challenge but it’s worth it to see his many gains.

  1. Now I feel old, you watched the original Jurassic Park movie as a kid! I can feel your pain when T doesn’t find your childhood interests as fun as you did. I bought so many things from my childhood thinking my kids would love them and they didn’t. I finally stopped trying. Lol It is so much fun to bring out your inner child when playing with kids, best dad ever!

    1. Thanks Diane. It is such a great movie. I was 12. I won’t ask how old you were when it came out. 😆 And I hear ya on kids not appreciating the things we enjoyed as kids. I’ll remember to poke fun at T one day when his kid doesn’t give a hoot about Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol.

    1. It really is a wonderful movie. I remember being both excited and terrified watching it back in 1993. I can only imagine how it made Hawklad feel. The movie has stood the test of time!

  2. Absolutely beautiful 😭❤️ And oh my gosh that video with his sweet little voice! ❤️❤️❤️ I definitely agree that to care for a child, one must keep that child like wonder. It’s hard not to, when their cuteness and enthusiasm is so contagious 😁

    1. Thank you. 😊 That sweet voice really does make us smile – cuz it’s not always this sweet sounding. 😆 You will definitely experience this joy of life through a child’s eyes yourself as your little one grows up. And it’ll be wonderful to see that too!

  3. So many good things here. First, that video of T explaining about Brachiosaurus. Kids who love dinosaurs will become cool people in the future. 😎 And then, Kimberly and Tommy! Have you met Jason? Power Rangers was just one of the greatest things from the 90s. Have you watched Gremlins? That was the most memorable horror movie for me as a kid.

    1. Thanks Bama, the video made us smile for sure! And yes, dinosaurs are cool for so many reasons.

      I loved Power Rangers because when I grew up in the Philippines I loved the Super Sentai series from Japan, which is what PR was based on. Do you have Sentai shows in Indonesia? If not, you should look it up. Fascinating stuff.

      The year that T came into our lives unexpectedly, I had already scheduled a long weekend trip to Los Angeles with my cousin to attend a Power Rangers convention called Power Morphicon, which happens every two years. The hubby let me go still and it was fun. I got to “meet” actors from across the 23 seasons (at that time, now 30) of the show. My cousin loved it too. And yes, including Jason. He was always so cute. 😆

      Gremlins is one of my favourite childhood movies. I loved it – both the original and the sequel. I haven’t watched it in years and may just introduce it to T one of these days. I think he’d both love it and find it scary.

      1. Super Sentai was very popular in Indonesia too. Goggle V was extremely famous, and I remember there was Turboranger which I also enjoyed. Another popular series was Kamen Rider.

        I hope T will like Gremlins. 😁

      2. I can go on and on about this. 😆 The Sentai series I fell in love with was Bioman, released in 1986. The creator of Power Rangers watched this in a hotel in Japan and tried to adapt it but failed to get traction. He tried again with translating Zyuranger into PR and it became a success.

        If you’ve never seen this, it’s quite a riot. This was Saban’s first attempt at making Power Rangers using Bioman footage. You’ll notice the names of the characters sound familiar!

        I think T will find Gremlins interesting. I found the evil gremlins terrifying as a kid.

      3. OMG, how did you find that video? 😄 You’re right about the similar names, except there’s Victor, but no Jason. When I first watched PR, I really thought it was really an American invention. But after a while, especially when the Dinozords transformed into Chinese-looking Megazords, I started to get suspicious. Wait a minute, what is happening here? Eventually I learned about its Japanese origins.

      4. The actor who played Jason asked to change the name of his character from Victor to Jason. 😆

        If you watch the early episodes of PR now as an adult, you’ll notice random scenes filled with Japanese people and then suddenly it’s Caucasian people. The editing was so bad. 😆

      5. PS. They tried to adapt Kamen Rider in the US with Masked Rider, a Power Rangers spinoff. It only lasted one season.

  4. I love T’s video. How precious and priceless! Nice work T!!! And I love your opening line, Ab. “Dinosaurs go extinct when they lose touch with their inner child.”

    Right – and you have given us so many examples here about how to stay in touch with it. Yes, our kids age us and save us. I relate to that so much. I love all the dinosaurs you have in this post – and how you show us the “bones” of what holds you up as a great and resilient parent, partner and friend you are! <3

    1. Thanks so much, Wynne. I know you’d get it as I see so much of that open mindedness and curiosity in your parenting journey with Miss O and Mr D.

      You know me and my love of analogies and metaphors – all the connecting dinosaur stories were simply to go to pass up for this post! The bones indeed are important from preventing us from becoming fossils. 😆

      1. “The bones indeed are important from preventing us from becoming fossils. 😆” Hilarious AND true!! <3 <3 <3

  5. Being an adult is overrated. It’s all about embracing your inner child and having fun, using your imagination and continuing to learn. How awesome that you met both Kimberly and Tommy from the Power Rangers. I grew up watching that show. Glad to hear that T enjoyed the original Jurassic Park movie. What a classic. What a great way to start the weekend with that email from T’s teacher with T’s work and voice recording. I’d second that he did awesome. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Linda

    1. Thanks Linda. I agree that being an adult has its perks but it’s also overrated. 😆 We will need to trade notes about our childhood shows – it looks like we both grew up with the rangers and Sailor scouts. 😊 And yes, he sure did an awesome job with reading. He’s worked hard at it and it shows.

      Hole you and K enjoy this beautiful week ahead!

    1. Thanks Margie! We’ll have to trade notes about Star Trek. I’m a huge TNG fan and loved the recent season of Picard.

      1. That is awesome about your daughter! The new season of Picard (third season) is excellent. A true tribute for TNG fans. I can’t rave about it enough! You must watch it. 🙂

  6. I didn’t always know, recognize or appreciate what children offer, even after teaching K-3 for a short time. Now, since my oldest grandson & reading about you & T, I so appreciate a child’s perspective.
    In my mom’s time children weren’t heard, but their voice is just as important. When I listen I learn from young people as well. I can only see how T’s imagination keeps you feeling young. I still build forts when my grandchildren spend the night, lol.

    1. Thanks Tammy. Building forts is always a great pastime. I agree that we can learn so much from the young and vice versa. That’s why I’m also a fan of inter generational programming and think it’s a benefit to all ages.

    1. Thanks Rebecca. We does have the sweet voice when he’s not having a hissy fit. 😆 And yes the animated dinosaur is cool. Great way to encourage reading fun!

  7. I think it’s about being open to any and all things, and teaching your kids the same. How dull would we be if everyone liked the same stuff, but we grow and learn and share through being willing to explore and find our passions. Kids have that ability to suck stuff up, but I think we close ourselves off sometimes as adults Ab, so I say keep embracing the kid side!

    1. Thanks Deb. I agree with your assessment. Kids can be exhausting but when we open ourselves up to all the possibilities, we grow right alongside them.

  8. I love that you’re introducing T to some of your childhood favorites. Hopefully, a few become shared interests. Even if not, it’s still such a great way to stay in touch with your inner child. Oh, and T’s dino video is so sweet.

    1. Thanks Erin. He seems to like scary videos so there’s hope yet that we can watch horror movies together one day! 😆

  9. Kids keep us young! That is a great part about being a parent Ab! Keep trying to see if he has interest in the things you like and like you wrote be interested in what he loves. My kids never grew an interest in sports like I did, but we can still talk about baseball or football or go to a game. At the same time, I’ve developed an interest in rap or some musical taste’s outside my norm because of my kids. It’s really cool being able to learn and share that with them!

    1. Thanks Brian. I’m looking forward to your rap post one day! 😊 I’m not much of a sports person but am getting into it cuz of T’s endless energy, so we have a bit of a reverse situation here. Hehe. But he doesn’t quite have the attention span yet for a game. One day!

      1. My post on rap will be an interesting one I guarantee you that . . . Ha, ha. I tried to throw out a few names of rap artists that I thought might be hip to my son. He looked at me like I was crazy and then informed me that they were ancient news. Oh brother, I could definitely be in trouble. Ha, ha. 🙂 🙂 😉 😉 🙂 🙂

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