Our kids – our beautiful tiny humans – Dylan and Eloise have just turned six and three years old, respectively. Born exactly three years and three days apart, it makes for a busy but fun time of the year.
Becoming a mama has changed the whole course of my life and has been the most challenging and magnificent thing I have ever done. I have learned a lot about myself, being a parent and balancing (juggling?) everything. I expected there to be a steep learning curve in all these areas.
What I didn’t anticipate is how having kids has helped me rediscover what is truly important in life. My children remind me on a daily basis on how to live life to the fullest. I may be the one imparting knowledge but they divulge the real wisdom.
Here are three important things my kids have taught me in the past six years:
1) Ask for Everything
Expect the best, ask directly for what you want and have huge goals. Dylan didn’t just want a Lego set for his birthday – he wants ALL the Lego sets. Christmas is just an invitation to a never-ending wish list.
And of course the kids don’t get everything they ask for and they deal with feeling disappointed but it doesn’t stop them asking again. And again. Imagine if everyone had huge goals and didn’t back down at the first obstacle in striving to get what they really wanted. The world would be a different place.
2) Be Curious
When I picked up Dylan from school today he ran off with his friends to look at a snail. Yes, a snail. When I joined him, after finishing a conversation, five minutes later, he was still poking around that poor snail, trying to cover it with a leaf and feed it some crumbs. Eloise was marveling at the creature as well.
No grown up ever does this. Although we are told to ‘stop and smell the roses’, we almost never do and so miss out on the sense of awe that being curious can invoke. Children remind us that the world around us is full of wonder and I, for one, want to make sure I remember that.
3) Create Just Because You Can
Kids innately love being creative and they never worry (until they are older) whether what they are creating is ‘good’ or not. The simple act of creating something is enough. In the past year, Eloise has produced dozens and dozens of paintings and we now have boxes of Eloise’s artwork stored away. I don’t think Eloise, at three, would care whether we kept any of it. She has had a good time producing the art and giving it to us to look at and now she has moved on to the next creation.
Whenever I am struggling over my writing (which is frequently) I try to take this reminder about creativity on board – it doesn’t matter whether it is good, whether it is displayed or what happens to it – the act of creating something is a gift that only us humans have been given. We should cherish any time we get to be creative.
It is humbling to realize that I am the student, not the teacher when it comes to my kids, but if it means my life is improved with their wisdom then keep the lessons coming, I say.
Happy birthday, Dylan and Eloise, my wise tiny humans.