Having children has taught me a lot. And if you have kids, I am sure that becoming a parent has done the same for you. Some lessons you welcome with open arms, while others take some convincing. Here are seven valuable lessons I’ve learned from having kids.
Time Waits on No One
Want to know just how fast time flies? Take a look back at pictures of your children from last year. They look different don’t they? It’s unbelievable what a difference a year can make. They have started to walk, talk, began school, moved up a grade, suffered their first heartbreak, started driving, gone to college, moved out… So savor every bit of time that you can with these precious souls. The time is now.
Now is the time to embrace them more closely, now is the time to get lost in their eyes, now is the time to start that new business, learn that language, seek that adventure. As our children have so eloquently taught us, time waits on no one.
Life is Full of Wonder
Ever observe a baby discover, touch or taste something for the first time? It could be as simple as their toes touching the sand for the first time. Time stops. Their eyes are full of wonder as if nothing else matters. Just the fine grits of sand and those soft warm toes… that’s it. How can we incorporate more wonder into our lives?
Ask a four year old to draw a picture, dress themselves, or even make you a “pretend meal”, and you will find out exactly what I mean. Scribbles widely scatter the page. Colors and patterns come together with no rules for their composition, flavors and textures like chocolate and eggs come together effortlessly in imaginative one pot wonders. How can we take that same boldness and apply it to our everyday lives?
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
I’ve seen my almost new walker, stand to his feet, take a step and fall flat on his tosh. He then gets up, steadies himself and falls again. Many times only to fall again and again. And you know what? He always gets back up. The next day, it’s as if he has no memory of what has occurred the day before. But, I know he remembers because he is always more resilient.
“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start at any moment you choose. For this thing we call “failure” is not falling down, but staying down”, Mary Pickford.
Invest in Creativity
We are all creative beings. God made us that way. Somehow, the older we get, the more we allow life or people to zap us of that creative energy. After all, adults ought to be more practical and reasonable right? If you have little ones, ask them to go into a room by themselves and play. No TV. No electronics. Whether the rooms have toys or not is really irrelevant because blocks turn into skyscrapers, pillows transform into trampolines and living rooms turn into cities complete with people, restaurants and palaces.
What makes you light up? Do you remember? Get lost in possibilities and allow yourself to become transfixed in your creative flow, so that even time stands still, even if just for a moment. Allow your creativity to infuse your life. Write words that you’ve never written. Create meals that you never thought you would. Travel to lands near and far. Allow yourself to dream the impossible dreams. That’s what you want for our kids right? Now, all you have to do is want that for yourself.
Push through Fear
I tell my daughter, “You can do this”. I’m like her private cheerleader encouraging her while she cautiously climbs the rock wall at a children’s museum, gives her best effort when counting to one hundred or petting a starfish at an aquarium. I believe in her so much and never want fear to stifle her dreams or her experiences.
Isn’t that what we all want for our children? We want them to push through fear and find their way to courage. That’s what I want for myself too. Don’t you want that?
“To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another,” Katherine Paterson.
From the first flutter of life that crept into my being weeks into motherhood, to the joy that delights their faces when I walk into the room, I am reminded of their love. Not tolerated, not liked, but loved. Truly, deeply, wholly. What would life be like if we all loved like a young child? No reservations or pretenses but genuine gut-wrenching emotion. If we said hello to the stranger in the elevator before they even acknowledged us. If we made the time to have an occasional conversation with our voices instead of our fingers.
If we disconnected from our portable devices long enough to allow our eyes to linger and actually light up when our children walked into the room. Yes! Oh what a world that would be.
So as you go about your days filled with schedules and commitments, remember to watch your children. They are constantly teaching us to be bold, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, invest in creativity, push through fear and love fully because…life is full of wonder and time waits for no one.
Happy (almost) birthday my sweet baby boy. Mommy loves you more than you can ever know.