I think my little girls are smarter than me. Seriously.
It all dawned on me as I was writing this post. I was putting together my list of lessons they’ve taught me, which is this week’s topic for the motherhood series that Kelly and I have been doing. (Psst – Be sure to swing by her post to read her list, too!) While doing so, I realized that they very well may have a better grasp on life than I do.
Looking at them as teachers seems counterintuitive, because when it comes down to it, their worlds are so simple. Yet, isn’t that the point? The older I get, I’ve realized that I tend to complicate what it’s all about. I take on too much, and then wonder why I feel like I can’t keep up. I’ll tell you why: I don’t live life the way my girls have demonstrated. I really need to take a page out of their book more.
They’re happy, filled with personality, curious, and truly wise beyond their years. Watching them grow has made me realize what’s really important in life.
And so, here is my list of lessons learned from Gracie Kay and Josephine Bloom. It goes on and is always growing, but I think these particular ones are shining stars because they have made me actively change how I act or view the world.
Today’s failures are tomorrow’s growth.
I’m picturing an image of an 11-month-old Gracie, wobbling around, determined to walk yet not quite there yet. She’d teeter on chunky feet, fall, get back up, and fall again. It seemed like this cycle lasted for months until one day, she did it. She took one step…and then another…and then another. I’ve never squealed so loudly, and I’ve never seen such a proud smile in return.
A kid’s life is growth – as is all of ours – and with it comes plenty of failures that are overcome. Think about all the things babies and kids have to learn, and thus tend to fail at in the beginning. Everything from basic skills like learning to eat or communicating to running and climbing jungle gyms. It’s actually a complex world, if you think about the view from their eyes. My kid’s determination has taught me that failure is a part of it all, enables growth, and often even makes it that much sweeter.
Cleaning up is overrated.
Alright so this lesson may or may not be serving a dual purpose to make me feel better about the constant state of our apartment. But, I really have learned to chill out already when toys are everywhere and it looks like a tornado went through our place. Yes, it’s important to clean and be tidy. Of course, I try to teach this to Gracie. But, sometimes, you just gotta call it a night and enjoy the mess, particularly when you know that it’ll be made all over again the next day.
Smile at the people you love.
Josephine can always be counted on for this. That girl gives smiles so freely, particularly to Doug, Gracie and I, and it’s the best feeling. We can’t help but smile back. Which means we’re always smiling over here, because she literally smiles every time we look at her. Our home is certainly a happy one and she’s a big part of the reason why.
It doesn’t take much to have fun.
This situation has played out countless times: Gracie gets a toy, opens the box eagerly, glances at said toy, and then plays with….the box. For hours. What?!
Really though, both girls have shown that fun is all about looking at the world with eager eyes, which is all a matter of perspective. They’re so interested in the little things — things like leaves, flowers, bugs, or hugs — that I certainly overlook. Tickling, or even time spent doing simple things like coloring, makes their day. Fun to them comes to easy, because their minds are always open to it.
The great outdoors is really, really great.
“Want to go on a walk?” is constantly met with a marathon down our halls while screaming “YEEAAAAAAA” as if we just announced we were going to Disneyworld. In Grace’s eyes, we basically are. Mickey Mouse has nothing on swings or slides.
Their excitement for going outside constantly leaves me in awe. From blueberry picking to the Chicago lakefront, Gracie’s favorite thing to do is just to explore the great outdoors. Same with Jo – put her in the Baby Bjorn while walking around, and she’s content for hours. It all makes me appreciate the grandness of outdoors, and the importance of soaking it in.
Slow down & seize the day.
Sometimes, when I’m in a rush and trying to do too much in one day, I look at my girls and am reminded that time is so precious. They live in the moment so well – they’re not (yet) distracted by a cell phone (unless I give in to Elmo – eek!) or in the phase of only wanting to be with their friends. I know that years from now I’ll look back on these young years and yearn for the days when all they wanted to do was hang with us. So, as much as possible, I’ve been trying to slow down and get on their in-the-moment level. To stop making so many plans and just enjoy the day.
There’s always room for dessert.
Singing makes everything better. So do hugs.
Have a boo-boo? Hug it out. Throw in a song and, whelp, you’re basically a doctor. I’ve found that from bath time to hanging out, hugs and songs are always necessary. Paired with the smiles I mentioned above and I’ve found that, when it comes down to it, there’s really not much that being with the girls can’t cure.
What have you learned from your kids? Or, if you don’t have them, what have you learned from kids you’ve been with? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Be sure to also swing by Kelly’s post to read her list. Kelly and Mitch are the best parents, which is demonstrated by Emma being one of the smiliest, happiest little girls. I can’t wait to read what they have to share!