The face and spirit which greet me each morning.
My child is an early riser.
She’s consistently woken up around 530am since she began sleeping through the night.
Friend often ask: Why don’t you tell her to stay in her room until 630 or 7?
The photo above is my reason why.
She wakes up happy. She wakes up curious. She wakes up eager to discover what amazing thing the day will bring.
When my daughter was younger I’d often lament the fact she’s an early riser.
As we’ve both gotten older, however, my lamenting has stopped.
I’ve had time to reflect and see how much she’s taught me about living.
I’ve had time to step back and see how much of this “teaching” has happened during moments when feels as though we’re the only two awake in the world.
6 life lessons we can learn from children.
1. See the world as a jaw-dropping, wonderful place.
I’m a writer by day and, in a cringe-worthy way, I’d employed this trite phrase more than a few times prior to having my daughter. My characters’ jaws oft “dropped in amazement” without my giving thought to what this would look like were it to actually happen.
Then our daughter arrived.
Then she grew old enough to notice and take part in the world around her.
Then her jaw dropped, LITERALLY, in amazement.
I saw it drop at the deer sleeping on our front lawn. At firemen spraying the fire hose across a gaggle of melting toddlers. At a whole watermelon being swiftly sliced in half. At my new tattoo.
We grown-up types may need to create a gratitude board to remind us of the jaw-dropping world in which we live, but if you need quickfastandinahurry attitude adjustment, nothing works better than time spent with a child.
2. View strangers as friends you’ve not yet met.
Nothing tugged at my Mama-heart more than when my 3-year-old would spy a flock of kids she didn’t know and announce: Look Mama! Friends!
Back then I’d immediately think/pray Please be nice to my girl! as she’d go running toward them with a grin on her face.
And yet 90% of the time the new “friends” would welcome her with open, sandbox-sharing arms.
Why? I can only assume that since she viewed the world through the lens of I’m only here to have fun–not fight! I bear no ill will or maliciousness. I already like you, People, and we’ve never even met! the other children picked up on that vibe.
Sure it has been a little different as she’s gotten older—-but really not all that much.
3. Be in the moment. Always.
She’s getting older. I fear she may soon struggle with being present like the rest of us big people.
She’s not there yet.
Life is too exciting for her to waste any of it focusing on if she was slighted in the morning’s game on the playground. She, in her inimitable way, realizes if she’s living in the past she’s guaranteed to miss a whole lot happening in the present.
This older post was sparked by watching my then 3 year old daughter play. I smiled as I watched her pretend to be a princess (who was also a pilot) who could fly her plane down the streets of our neighborhood picking up friends/pets along the way. In a child’s mind there exists no limitations – let alone fear of failure.
Whether I’m following suit and using my imagination to solve real-world problems or taking a life-break and gazing at clouds in search of animal shapes, my daughter remains a daily reminder to let my imagination soar.
5. ZERO Multi-tasking.
When my 9-year-old draws, she’s not simultaneously watching television and pondering when she’s going to take a bath.
She, unlike her multitasking mama, doesn’t eat her ice cream whilst making a card for her dad and creating a list of what she needs at the toy store. She is, 100% of the time, focused on and enjoying the task at hand.
I know I try to jam-pack too many things into my day. My to-do list is long and, as a result, I multi-task, rush, and often end my day exhausted.
And frequently with not much accomplished.
6. Love yourself nekid.
Yes, I said it.
But I dare say all of us (parents or not) have watched in awe as a naked, happy, entirely-comfortable-in-her-own-skin toddler frolics past us.
I adored how, when little, my daughter would spend as much of her day naked as she could.
Nothing felt more comfy to her than simply letting everything hang out.
She’s nine now. And, athough she realizes social constructs make some nekid-behavior inappropriate, she would still choose to be comfy in her birthday suit most of the time if she could.
This life lesson isn’t necessarily one that would work for us grown-ups to put into practice literally, but I believe a whole lot more “getting nekid” emotionally might help this grown-up experience life in a more open fashion.
Today is a day off from school.
I’m choosing to make today a “work as little as I can get away with” day, too.
We may do something serious/good.
We may do something silly/just fun.
We may only choose to Hit the Quan (over and over and as we dance through the neighborhood streets).
Whatever we do—I know I will be learning.
School in session or not.