Story of Belonging...

Last week was my birthday. And as has been the custom since we moved to Canada, my parents and brother and his family come spend my birthday week with me in Toronto. This also means that we can celebrate my niece's birthday together. My birthday is on June 29th and her's on June 20th. And she loves to say that she's celebrating her birthday with her bua (her father's sister - that's me!). 

This year was no different, everyone came and we were enjoying our week spending time together. Till my nephew fell sick on the 29th. He had an ear infection that led to high-fever and him being dizzy/drowsy for a couple of days till he got anti-biotics. My nephew - who is 5 - is a chatter box and very, very mischievous. Because he was sick, he was not up to his usual antics. He was mostly cuddled either with his mom or his dad. BUT, when he did speak or do something, it was only what would serve him. I realized he's a master at conserving his energy and not engaging with ANYONE about ANYTHING unless he absolutely needed to respond to it. My father tried to talk to him, he didn't respond. My mother tried to engage him in his favourite game - Monopoly Deal -  he didn't respond. His sister - whom he loves more than anyone else in the world - tried to bring him his toys and he didn't respond. BUT, when it came to desserts - his favourite food - he responded! 

I slowly started noticing that he would only talk or engage with you, if he wanted and needed it. Otherwise, it was as if you were talking to a wall. It also made me realize what good boundaries this kid had inculcated for himself at such a young age. Anything that didn't serve him, he didn't care for. And it didn't matter who it came from. I wonder if we all have these skills in our childhood and somewhere they get lost as we grow up because we're constantly trying to please someone. We lose our sense of boundaries and start conforming to what the world around us wants. 

I encourage all of you to figure out your boundaries so you know where to draw the line. Know who to engage with and when. We can all conserve our energy if we can be more boundaried.