Adulthood makes you a cynic. Why do you think the preschool movement exists and British comedian Miranda is so popular? Childhood, with its innocence, faith, and imagination that perceives endless possibility and wonder is in high demand in today’s world of micro-aggravating information overload. Those of us who choose to have children are nosediving into the pressures of adulthood in new and terrifying ways. The ironic thing is, the kids we worry about so much aren’t worried at all. In fact, the more time we spend with them the less we worry about everything else. Childhood is magic. It is addictive. It is a healing elixir, a wonder tonic. Don’t believe me? These are the things I’ve already learned from my son, lessons that demand to be committed to memory:
There is always a reason to be happy. Raspberries and the word “poopie” are currently my kid’s humor du jour. When’s the last time you laughed? Give yourself the opportunity to be amused by life. Funny stuff is everywhere.
Excitement is all around you. A kid’s play cycle has all the variability of lather-rinse-repeat, yet they love it every time. Get jazzed about your morning coffee. Change up the music for your commute. Try a new meal. Variety is the spice of life.
Everything always changes. Don’t like the way things are right now? Give it a few minutes, a few hours, sometimes a few days. Life will change.
Never hesitate to change your perspective. Things don’t always move as fast as you’d like. So, when you can’t change life, change your focus. Every time my son is about to make a developmental leap he gets insanely frustrated. Currently he’s grunting and growling his way through sitting up by himself. Early on, our doctor advised us to monitor his frustration. Before he bursts into tears, change his focus to a different object or a different activity. He’ll return to what he wants to do, but he’ll be calmer about it. The same goes for us as adults. Take a sick day from work. Walk away from an argument. Take a break from a project and return to it with fresh perspective.
There is always something new to learn. Never. Stop. Learning. Learning is growth. Always approach life with curiosity and a desire to know more. Let the conclusions you draw motivate further exploration in all fields. Never be afraid to pursue the truth in one area and apply it to everything else.
Find comfort in love. You don’t know what unconditional love looks like until you look into your child’s eyes. Complete trust and peace dwell there. Foster that above all else, not just for her well-being, but for your own.
God is real. My son loves light. He has since he was born. No matter where he is his eyes gravitate toward the light with wonder and a keen sense of purpose. It calms him in ways words do not. My mother says I did the same thing when I was a baby. One day I just looked out the window and appeared to be having quite the silent conversation with God. Never cease to look toward His light.