How does the saying go? As you have more children, you lose more brain cells? Well, I have been a mom since I was 25 years old and have had four little ones. How many brain cells do I have left? Not sure I even have enough to count them!
Despite the “loss” of many brain cells, I can learn an awful lot from my babies.
1. Be Innocent. Why is it that we, as adults, no longer live in innocence? I get it, a lot of us have faced some pretty terrible things in our lives. But so have many children. Even so, children know that they will be taken care of. They know that they will be loved. They retain their innocence, no matter what bad may come. Who says that we have to lose that innocence just because we turn 21?
2. Forgiveness is key. My kids argue. A lot. But they get over it. There will always be people with whom we disagree. There will be arguments with other adults. We need to get over it, too.
3. Embrace individuality. I am a preschool teacher. I see lots of pictures of green chickens, purple cows, and even black rainbows. Each of us is different and we each have something special to offer to the world.
4. Roll with the punches. This was especially true with my subsequent children. From the time they came home from the hospital, they had to go with the flow. There was no set schedule with our boys. It seems that, as we become adults, change is a much more difficult concept to accept. We are happy in our little spaces, doing the same thing every day. Let’s not be afraid of change. Let’s adapt to it.
5. Dream. My 9 year-old son wants to be an Atlanta Brave. Correction: my 9 year-old son will be an Atlanta Brave. What is the saying? “If you build it, he will come”? If my son dreams it, it will come. There is no question in his mind. And we will not steal that dream from him. What happened to our dreams? I have a dream, too. My dream is to become a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I first realized this dream when our third child was in the NICU. Seeing those heroes saving babies each day was very inspiring. The difference between me and my son? I don’t think I will ever achieve my dream. He believes that he will achieve his.
6. Fear not. Do my kids have fears? Sure they do. My daughter is afraid that I will be late to pick her up from school (side note: I have never been late to pick her up from school). My four year-old is afraid of the dark. Really, he’s not. But he uses this “fear” to his advantage when he wants to sleep with Mommy and Daddy. But real fears. “Adult” fears. Money. Death. Relationships. These fears don’t exist in our children’s world. Why do they exist in ours?
7. You can overcome anything. My daughter was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at four years-old. She has danced ballet since before she was three, runs on the track team at school, and plays soccer throughout the year. My son was born with an omphalocele (his intestines were out of his body, in his umbilical cord) and he had almost half of his (large) tongue removed when he was one. He is starting to read and will *hopefully* be reading by the time he begins kindergarten in the fall. So why can’t we, as adults, overcome our limitations? It’s as if we give up before we have even begun.
8. Show Loyalty. Kids are like dogs. They are so very loyal. A child will never turn his back on you. My sons can drive their sister crazy. But you know what? If anyone messes with her brothers, she will defend them to the end. I try to be a loyal person, but I fail at times. Maybe I should take a cue from my daughter.
9. Sing like no one is listening. Dance like no one is watching. Seriously. Our youngest has the best moves. We have video of him dancing at a Chuys restaurant in Nashville. He had no cares. No worries. He was just grooving to the music. My daughter is in the school musical. They are performing “Guys and Dolls, Jr.”. Do you know how many times my husband and I have heard “A Bushel and a Peck” or “The Oldest Established”? Our nine-year old can dance to “Gangum Style” like nobody I have ever seen before (not sure if that is a good or a bad thing). When did I stop being myself and start worrying about what people thought of me? Why do I care?
10. A smile solves everything. Do you know how many times my four year-old has come out of his bedroom at night (an hour after we put him to bed), with some “important” question? True story: he did it just now. As frustrated as we may be with him, he knows that all he has to do is smile. A smile from any of our children will melt our hearts. I can be so incredibly stressed out, but if one of my babies flashes me a smile, I am instantly relaxed. Things get crazy in “adult life”. We should all try to smile more each day. You never know how a simple smile could affect someone’s mood.
I have learned a lot from my children. But I know I still have so much more to learn.
Hopefully as I get older, I will become more childlike.
What things can you learn from your children?by