Keeping the Faith

What I Wish I’d Said That Day At That Fancy Restaurant, Eating 8-Courses While in Labour…

I wish I’d done the unthinkable that day.  I wish I’d said poo to social etiquette and spoken what I desperately wanted to.

Very loudly.

You see, when the labour pangs began, I didn’t really believe them.  We were going out to dinner, a classy restaurant with friends – their shout.  And as the contractions came and went, I gritted my teeth and worked my way through the eight-course banquet.

Finally, just after the wok-seared beef fillets with field mushrooms and before the bomb Alaska, I leaned across to my husband and said, “We need to go!”

Here’s the way I wish it had unfolded:  I heaved myself to my feet, looked around the now-full restaurant and shrilled in my loudest voice, “We’re going to have our baby!” (clutching my stomach as another contraction took hold).

The room first went silent, then erupted in applause as people laughed in shock and delight at our announcement.

As we left, people yelled their well-wishes at us. Complete strangers shook our hands and the wait staff helped us on our way, opening doors and then thrusting a bottle of bubbly into our hands saying, “For after!”

Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Here’s the way it really happened:  we discreetly left the restaurant.  Full stop.  That’s all.

Why do we hold back?

At the recent Flourish women’s event in Launceston, keynote speaker Karen Wilson spoke about how important it is to get in touch with your inner child.  The author and executive minister from Riverview Church in Perth (which has a congregation of 5,500) encouraged us to, “Live life large!”

Letting-Your-Inner-Child-Out-

Rediscover what you’re good at, those things you love to do, and do them more often.  Be creative.  Play lots – allow yourself to laugh and have fun.  Connect with the people around you (don’t retreat).  Step out in courage to overcome fears and to reach goals.

These are the strategies she shared for rest, fulfillment, purpose and effectiveness.  Think of it as the unabashed energy and sponge-mindedness of a child applied to the adult context.  After all, there’s a reason we ‘grow up’.  The inner child can teach us to live with unbridled freedom and joy while the ‘outer adult’ tempers such spontaneity with the realities of consequence and responsibility.

Proverbs 17:22 says that, “a happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing…” (Amplified Bible).

Happy hearts and cheerful minds are the territory of children.

Let me explain.

I’m a bit of an introvert.  My son’s a lot of an extrovert.

We make friends everywhere we go, striking up conversations with strangers.  He’s often on hugging terms with new toddler mates after a quick play at the park, which in turn means that I know the names of their parents and have engaged in some interesting conversation on what’s going on in their lives.

This would not happen without my son.  Without his all-embracing love of living and people, my life would be dimmer.  I learn so much from him.

As Karen wrapped up her talk at Flourish, she left us with a question: “What crazy idea do you have that needs doing?”

I lost an opportunity in the restaurant that day. If it were my son’s idea to tell the world that he was about to become a big brother, he would have done it without thinking twice.

So here’s a crazy idea that very few people know about me.  I would love to one day perform a song, some bluesy tune, leaning on a piano in a sparkling gown.  My voice isn’t much chop, but wouldn’t it be fun?  Perhaps, now that it’s out there, you’ll hold me accountable!

Perhaps you too will find the courage to speak into being those crazy dreams in your head.

To Live Life Large, as a child knows best.

First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday September 15, 2014.

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I am a writer, mother, wife and believer in a reality bigger than my own. I love exploring the small epiphanies of life. Nothing is humdrum. Every moment is charged with opportunity, each one mixing its ideas with the ink in my pen. You call it alchemy, I call it God.

5 Comments

  1. I needed this reminder. I’ve been trying to live life more child-like lately. I don’t know why my mind loves to over-complicate simple matters!

    • I hear you! And I’m so thankful to my husband actually – he think in opposite directions 😉 But most of all, God. He teaches me to bring all the complications to his feet. What a wonderful freedom that is! Have a wonderful day Trish.

  2. Neil C says

    Hi there Claire !! Just dropped by to praise you……… errrm; perhaps I will rephrase that ‘un. 🙂
    Just wanted to say that I think your column this week is a super piece of writing !!
    Cheerio then, from your awful atheist fellow word fancier, Neil.

    • Hi Neil – great to hear from you! You’re not so awful, even if you are an atheist 😉 Thanks for your encouragement. Did you identify a crazy idea you’re gonna bring to fruition then? 🙂

  3. Neil C says

    Hi Claire. Thanks for the warm welcome (perhaps my cyber footprint is still steaming, much like my feet would most assuredly do, should they ever carelessly stray onto or stumble upon consecrated ground) 😉
    “Did you identify a crazy idea you’re gonna bring to fruition then?” 🙂
    How remiss of me …. and thank you for inquiring !!
    I am busy investing much of my time on the crazy idea of a truly good, modern state governmental structure and service delivery system. The craziest part is that rather than our failed standard approach of sticking a band aid on it (and let’s be honest, picture our lovely state as a bleeding haemophiliac being attended by a well meaning bystander…… whom it so happens is a lawyer rather than a doctor; and therefore their only recourse is to frantically attempt to stick more and more band aids onto the already soggy band aids that they applied there only 5 minutes previously).
    The whack a doodle craziest part of my governmental plan is to honestly and bluntly ascertain the actual problems’ underlying causal factors, and start to remedy those from the outset……. so an entirely different modus operandi from the go get.
    As for your idea, I think that sounds great !! Almost like a concert party ####cue Blackadder reference#### ” and perhaps a little sparkly costume for the slug.” ……….. Errrm, now before any offence is taken please realise that the Major Star in the Baldrick slug balancing act was the (deceased) slug. OH NO !! How did I end up here ?!?! ArrggaaHHHH; I try to give a lady a compliment about her singing the blues in a spankingly smart, sparkly gown …….and somehow find myself comparing her to a positively dead variety entertainment slug, and one that is humiliatingly forced to lie on top of Baldrick’s upper lip at that !! No, No, No !! This is not the way to go about winning friends and influencing people…….
    OK then, the real story so far…….Cruisey, bluesy number. The piano leads in, the boozed up keyboard operative unleashes his slinky, easy glidin’ fingers upon the dulcet ivories. His eagle eye for a free bevvy notices that the ice in your drink has melted that little bit faster than his. “Nerves’ll do that”; his catalogue of experience quickly betrayed tonight’s dirty little secret….. that the “Nervous Performin’ Blues” really has done got ya, and so you have been choking the Hell outa that glass since long before the announcer first struggled to introduce you through the rolling and pitching, thunderous cacophony of the now impatient audience.
    A tentative….. husky note, first tries to bark, but then obediently rolls to greet the faithful throng. Your muscles finally relax as you engage………. 🙂

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