Portugal | Escape Haven


Grateful Monday: Today I’m grateful for the teachings of tiny tots via a recent trip to Portugal.

What’s different about this picture? Every table has a high chair, every table except for mine.

This photo reminds me of the calm before the storm! It’s about 8am and the chaos has broken out and punctured this still, sunny Mediterranean morning with something similar to what I’d imagine feeding frenzy at the zoo to be like. Jaded mums looking distracted walk in, dads enter carrying all the artillery prepared for the kiddy breakfast battle. I overhear mums having real conversations only to look and see the recipient is barely out of the womb. Dads dutifully cleaning the table of all breakables or potential weapons as with military precision he sets up table while mum attacks the buffet – clearly well versed at this family breakfast game.

An adorable Annie like child with strawberry blonde ringlets and a scattering of freckles approaches me with her beautiful piece of art asking ‘where’s my mummy?’ – like I may have hidden her! Then thrusting this food splattered piece of ‘art’ in my hands, she swiftly exits.

Rather than being irritated like I first thought may happen when I inadvertently booked into Europe’s most well known and largest ‘family hotel’ here in Portugal, this whole scene playing out before me is actually entertaining and a real eye opener as I find myself taking it all in laughing to myself at the amusement that these little people and their big educators provide.

It gives me with even a greater respect and admiration for the other side of the fence after being an observer over these few days and this ‘other world’.

I love these tiny tots child-like curiosity that penetrates from their long eyelash peepers, taking in all of life around them and surveying their little worlds. Buggy after buggy, little step after step, trotting into the restaurant, like an on going little people parade. One unique personality after the next.
It made me reflect how unique we all start out in this world and how free we feel to embrace and celebrate our wonderful differences – crazy dress sense that we choose, hair, made up language, unbraided laughing, curiosity spilling forth – when do we lose that?

It’s a shame that life changes us, disguises us, makes us conform and be afraid to shine and be our unique self that was put onto this earth.

It’s why I think encouraging others to retain that sense of child like play is so important. John Cleese talks about it in terms of that child like creativity – instead of being caught up in the job of discovery we force decisions, thoughts, beliefs – we believe our left-brain should win. It’s no wonder how when we throw off our shackles of responsibility and get back to the basics of being a kid reveling in 1 thing and ‘fun stuff’ how light and free our mind, our body and our spirit feels. I love that giddiness that play brings and seeing women experiencing that through our retreats when they get hooked on surfing or yoga.

Equally, it makes me realize that whilst we think we are the educators and role models for these small people entering our world and care, I believe these cuties have just as much to teach us about being free, if we let them.

Love Jen xx
Escape Haven


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