My kids often give me a fresh and different perspective on life. They show me a new way of looking at people and situations without the “baggage” accumulated over 45 years.
A few of the things that my kids have taught me:
- The importance of play and exploration – life can be fun no matter the circumstances. If it rains, put on some rain boots and splash around. Always explore everything in your surroundings. There is always something interesting to find.
- Celebrate all your accomplishments (or “Always first place” in honor of my younger daughter Kaitlyn) – Kaitlyn started running short kids races when she was 4 years old. No matter where she finished, she would proudly proclaim “I was first!”. My older daughter Ashlyn does not have a competitive streak. She runs/walks races and proudly walks across the finish line. But always with a smile on her face!
- Wear whatever you want – Ashlyn started wearing mismatched socks and shoes at a young age. Both my kids adore colorful clothing and mix and match at will. I try not to tell them to change what they put on, unless it really really clashes. Sometimes we worry too much about what other people think, whether it be about our clothing, our hair, our car, our home, etc. As long as we are comfortable maybe it doesn’t matter so much what other people think.
- Ask lots of questions – My kids tend to be friendly with strangers, particularly my older daughter. People seem genuinely surprised and delighted when my kids show interest in them. I encourage them to ask questions (if appropriate). I think as adults we tend to be more concerned about ourselves and less curious about other people and their situation.
- Love with no fear – My kids love with all their heart. No walls. No inhibitions. They express their feelings freely. I fear for the day when their hearts are broken.
My kids are still young and it will be interesting to see how they change as they progress through life. Hopefully I have acquired enough wisdom over the years to help them when they need it and to help them retain their childhood innocence and all the things that make them special.