On my way to school this morning, the conversation between my preschooler and I went like this:
A: I don't like Ms. Janet.
Me: But why?
A: She shouted at me yesterday.
Me: For what?
A: She just shouted, that's all.
He refused to say more. On further probing and inputs from Ms. Janet herself, I found out that she had intervened when A had a fight with his best buddy J the day before. He simply refused to share his favourite toy train with J. So they got into a fist fight. The kind that only three-year-olds can get into.
Many times in my role as a parent, I feel unworthy of teaching my child anything. He, more often than not, teaches me.
I went to confront A, who had started playing with J a minute after we entered class. I told A to share and that life is more fun if we do so. J took the opportunity to complain that A pushed him quite badly yesterday, and in exactly two seconds, A and J were hugging each other and apologizing for the day before. I didn't have to instruct A or J to hug each other and figure it out, they just did. My intervention there was redundant; they didn't really need me at all. They decided even before the day began that there would be no hard feelings.
What really happened back there was that in those two seconds, these kids taught me how to forgive. Many times in my role as a parent, I feel unworthy of teaching my child anything. He, more often than not, teaches me.
After all, how many adults can really do that? To forgive and really forget at the drop of a hat?
It got me thinking on all the things we can learn from our children. Paulo Coelho once famously said that we can learn three things from our children:
1. To be happy for no reason.
2. To always be curious.
3. To fight tirelessly for something.
He may be spot on but there is so much else we can learn from our kids.
Like how to laugh. Laugh at anything. And laugh so hard that our belly hurts.
Or how to not judge people from their outer appearance. To my little boy, the street kids are just as much fun as any other child in his plush building.
Or how to have endless energy at any given point in the day, or night for that matter, as the case is with my spirited boy. It's almost like as if he waits for morning to yell at everybody to wake up and seize the day. Some groggy mornings when he gets no response from us he even opens the curtains and says, "See, it is morning time. Wake up!
If I ever need a lesson on how to be carefree from life's disappointments or just to seize every moment, I just take one look at my child.
The little things bring him the most joy, and that always puts things in perspective as I manoeuvre my way through life's everyday challenges.
He teaches me every day how to love unconditionally. And how you really should hug somebody.
If I ever need a lesson on how to be carefree from life's disappointments or just to seize every moment and simply enjoy it, I just take one look at my child.
He teaches me how to live. Every single day.