“Being a father now, I know what it’s like to see your children do something mischievous, but also appreciating what they’re doing because they’re experimenting and trying to learn.”

– Cameron Moll

Fatherhood casts me into an unexpected role: I’m a spectator in the arena of discovery, where my children are the audacious gladiators, and mischief is their chosen weapon.

Think of it like this: Their lives are a thrilling saga of continuous beta-testing—with the world as their sandbox, where they break and build, tinker and tamper, fail and succeed. Each act of mischief is a daring experiment. A hypothesis being tested. A truth being probed. It’s all so beautifully, chaotically ingenious.

Children don’t merely stumble upon knowledge—they create it. They’re not just rambunctious little beings causing a ruckus—they are innovative scientists, fearless explorers, and eccentric artists, painting their reality with the vibrant hues of experience.

You see, that mud footprint on my kitchen floor? It’s not just a mess; it’s a bold testament of their adventure in the backyard jungle. The shattered vase isn’t a casualty of reckless play—it’s a monument of the law of gravity discovered.

They’re not merely ‘up to no good’; they’re on a secret mission, navigating the winding labyrinth of life. As a father, my job isn’t always to control the chaos, but to appreciate the genius in their play—to realize that sometimes a defiant act is a stepping stone on the path to understanding.

Mischief isn’t always the problem—sometimes, it’s the solution. It’s the elixir that transforms the ordinary into extraordinary, sparking their curiosity, fueling their innovation. And in its wake, it leaves not destruction, but a profound understanding of the world around them.

So here’s the shift: mischief is an essential element in the foundation of their lifelong learning, a cornerstone of their evolving wisdom.

In their world—mischief isn’t a rebellion, it’s a revolution.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.