Happy New Year!
I hope everyone rung in the year safely and joyfully. Here we are…day 1 of a new year…365 opportunities for a fresh start, 365 opportunities to learn something new from your children. As promised, I’m sending what I’ve heard from you: the things you have learned from your children in the last year…and if you still care to send in some lessons, I’d love to keep the list going. For now…here is what you’ve learned:
I have learned from my daughter that the world is confusing and exciting. She hears sounds for the first time and wonders what she is listening to. She looks at flowers and plants with intrigue. She is curious about why one toy makes a rattle sound and the other doesn’t. She examines pictures on a page with an inquisitive expression. Overall, everything is new and unique and she is just trying to make sense of it all. She is a new soul that has come to this strange world.
The first thing that comes to my mind is patience. I’ve learned to bite my tongue, take a step back, and just be patient with my kids. I let them finish their thought before responding. I let them try to do things on their own that they feel they’re capable of. I give them just another moment of imaginary play before we’re off for bath time. As a Type A, and as someone who thrives on strict schedules, I have learned to go with the flow much more.
I’ve learned a whole new meaning of a sense of humor from our daughter. It’s really fun to see what makes her laugh & play along with her jokes. She’s hilarious.
Eye contact. Wow. Had no idea I was so uncomfortable with prolonged eye contact until my daughter came along. It was weird at first to stare into each other’s eyes, often I would turn away out of discomfort but now I embrace it & love it.
I love how she teaches me to express emotions without giving two Fs of who’s watching or how it might make someone else uncomfortable. Sure, sometimes (ok, most of the times) I wish she’d stop but inwardly I’m like, “you go girl. be big. be bold. be brave. I pray you never compromise your expression for pleasing others.”
We learned that parking lots can become parks, the front of schools can become race tracks, and churches can be great places to find deceased bees and give them funerals. We learned that we can do “nature hikes” around our property!
We learned that wearing a mask is not a big deal if you’re with friends you like! (No one notices the mask when you’re having fun!).
1) I learned that I have a lot more patience than I previously gave myself credit for.
2) I learned that empathy is a super power and an art.
3) Rice can be breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
In other words, you’ve learned authenticity… presence… wonder… joy… curiosity… innovation… how to slow down… how to connect. I expect you’ve also become acquainted with vulnerability, honesty, astonishment, humility, delight, peace, and maybe how to let go of a grudge.
Who knew that becoming a parent would be the greatest and most ongoing opportunity for learning and growth you’d ever be given? Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me.