Yes, I know, this is so cliché, and at the same time so necessary. I’ll never stop emphasizing how important it is to learn from our children. Especially now, when we’re especially unsure what lesson will present itself daily.
Here are just a few lessons I’ve been reminded of as of late… I hope this offers someone a little comfort out there.
The future is not set in stone.
Yesterday I told my 9yo son, Trip, “the future is not concrete, not set in stone.” This resulted from him reminding me that I said we would do something, and plans inevitably changed, as they often do. He inquired as to what that means, and I elaborated a bit. Not just in how our plans can unfortunately change, but the bigger picture of the opportunities in life that present themselves daily along with these changes.
Then I looked inward… and had an epiphany! I was inspired and proud at the same time.
Yes, life throws some pretty detrimental curveballs sometimes… but on the other end, we have the ability to dodge, endure, and learn to conquer. Every day we wake up, we have a chance to switch it up, or even to improve on yesterday. All too often, as parents and “adults,” we feel stuck, overwhelmed, and get into tunnel vision mode. We see no way out, no other option, but I’ve learned multiple times that there is an opportunity for adjustment in most cases. Even in the smallest way. Even with a twinge of one’s perspective.
A common yet commonly forgotten lesson. Children are often told not to act “spoiled” like they’re owed everything without first earning it. Of course, they are deserving of love, guidance, shelter, and sustenance, to name a few human rights. But material possessions, respect, honor… these are earned and not to be taken for granted. I think we can all take a step back sometimes and check ourselves on that. And, as minuscule as our privileges may seem, we can all stand to be a bit more mindful of them. Again, perspective.
Happiness is often found in the smallest moments.
I had a moment a few days ago. My anxiety was through the roof; all the expectations from myself and others built up and spilling over… I felt like the world was caving in on me. That or my heart was going to jump out of my chest and run off. I decided to take a shower, cry a LOT… and take a deep, deep breath. Or a few. And forgive myself for freaking out.
Then I realized… I had these two beautiful, innocent children right there just waiting for me to love them and just spend time with them. I was calm. My heart relaxed, and I enjoyed my night with my family.
Learn from your children as often as you can… we are not only charged with their education & well-being but with ours as well. And many times, you’ll find a life raft in the smallest moments.