Is it just me, or are kids totally profound sometimes? I find myself joking with my husband about how our son is such a “little man” because of how wise and observant he can be about the world. Age six has been a particularly insightful year. I’m often taken aback by Branden’s perspective on the world, while also experiencing life lessons through his eyes. I get so focused on my day-to-day, which mostly consist of writing, that I don’t always open my eyes to the lessons around me. Here are six things he’s taught me this year.
1. Just say “yes”
I find myself saying “no, you can’t do that” to my son quite frequently because, quite frankly, his requests are often a little crazy. But I find that I’m also saying it to myself when it comes to things that I really want to do or risks that I’m scared to take. Branden has taught me that I need to start listening to my heart and saying “yes” more frequently to live a fulfilled life.
2. Take note of the beauty around us, every day
On many mornings, as we walk to school, Branden will say to me, “Mom, look at those beautiful flowers!” He notices beauty in the world and is always able to find it. (And, believe me…our surroundings aren’t always beautiful!) As adults, we need to open our eyes and learn how to do the same.
3. Hug more
I recently spotted Branden hugging a little girl in his class goodbye at the end of the school day. I got nervous and immediately started my whole “no” thing because I didn’t know how the teacher would react. She just smiled. No big deal. They then started hugging goodbye every day. I took this cue from my little man and started wrapping my arms around my husband more often “just because,” and it has made our bond even stronger.
4. Befriend first, ask questions later
When we go to our local park, I sit and watch as my little man enters the big jungle gym not knowing a soul, but leaves with so many goodbyes to give. I then think about how I, in a similar situation at a party or meeting, would keep to myself instead of taking that opportunity to get to know new people. Making friends as adults is much tougher than for children because we all have our opinions, insecurities and judgements lingering. But what if we didn’t? What if we befriended people whose paths crossed with ours, were opening minded, and dealt with all the drama later? The world just might be a brighter place.
5. Sometimes, it’s okay to cry
Some days, I feel like Branden cries about everything, like if I look at him the wrong way I will be cleaning up a salty flood. But then there are those times when I’m having a rough day and he senses it, reminding me that it’s alright to be vulnerable, be open, and shed some tears. It’s amazing how powerful that release is!
6. Do a little dance
I watched Branden march home from school the other day, just because. He had not a care in the world, and was just having fun in his own little world. It’s okay to be silly, let loose, and do a little dance sometimes. It reminds us that we are human and don’t always have to be so serious. These are the moments we will remember, not the way some stranger rolled her eyes at you from across the street for having a goofy moment.
What do you learn from your children? Share below.
This was originally published in Mommy Nearest Magazine.