Ariane Beeston thought it was her job to teach her son life’s lessons. Now she knows he’s here to teach her, too.
I love that part of my role as a parent is to teach my son about life, the universe (he loves reading about the planets) and everything. It’s a huge responsibility but also such fun as I follow and nurture his interests. And yet, at the same time, my little boy is also teaching and reminding me of a number of valuable lessons:
1. How to embrace who I am
There’s a beautiful unselfconsciousness about early childhood. A time before caring what others think. My son loves his Batman costume, his Darth Vader mask and his bright orange shoes. He raids my lipgloss, likes wearing hats and prefers his hair cut in a certain way. He reminds me that it’s okay to be your own person. To write your own fashion rules and break them the very next day. To do with confidence, what makes you feel most like yourself and what fills your heart. To build your individual style. And own it.
2. The importance of curiosity
My preschooler questions everything. 20 questions? Try 200. On a good day. I don’t know how my parents survived without Google. (I strongly suspect they simply made a lot of “facts” up.) My son wants to know about cause and effect. He’s interested in emotions, in how and why people feel the way they do. He wants to know how things work, from heavy machinery to the minutiae of our bodies. His thirst for knowledge, for answers, for an understanding of the world and our place within it, reminds me of the importance of remaining eternally curious. Of asking why and remaining open-minded. Of wondering and learning. And of looking at things critically and with fresh eyes.
3. How to be silly
As I watch my preschooler bopping to music, making faces and aimlessly running around in circles, squealing and flapping, I’m reminded of the importance of letting go every once in a while. Of being silly and not taking life so seriously. Of laughing until your belly aches and your cheeks hurt. And dancing like nobody’s watching.
4.To take pleasure in the little things
Seeing my son’s excitement over bubbles, spiderwebs and the frog in his grandparents’ pool reminds me that it’s the little things that give life its colour and shape. There are times when days can feel like a blur of tasks, responsibilities and endless negotiation, a hurtle from one thing to the next. And yet, it’s the tiny pleasures that make life wonderful. That first sip of coffee after a long night. A hot shower all to yourself. And that secret stash of chocolate no one else knows about. Moments to relish in amongst the busyness.
5. That love is alive
As he grows, my son is teaching me even more about the nature of love. That it’s alive in hugs and kisses and paintings brought home from school. That, when they come from him, those three words “I love you,” are so precious and powerful in their sheer innocence. Because from his perspective, before the doors of the world have truly flung open, before heartbreak and loss find their way in, love is simple. And beautiful.
Originally appeared at EssentialKids.com.au.
Read more at Essential Kids.
Photo: Flickr/Andy Malmin