I think if you realize that you are learning as much from your child as they are from you, then you can’t go wrong as a parent
I honestly believe that you learn just as much from your children as you have to teach them. Even when they are tiny babies, they are showing you things you’ve never experienced before – like a whole never level of love you never thought was possible. My life dramatically changed when I had my first son over five years ago. That was my first taste of this whole intoxicating power of love, it was also when a shift started to take place in me where I wanted to feel and experience rather than going through the motions. I’m grateful for the opportunity because it set this course in motion.
This morning my oldest couldn’t find any soft pants to wear to school today: soft pants are essentially jogging pants and right now he wears them religiously, so this was cause for some tears. He had quite a little storm of emotions and part of me wanted to say – kid, please get over it, wear the other pants, but I didn’t. It could have been easy to get angry, as we were running late. I probably would have been angry in the past, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit more at peace with myself so I took a breath and talked him through it. We found some pants that felt softer and I agreed to wash up some of the others for tomorrow. Crisis over. I thought if I had met that with anger, he probably wouldn’t have responded to that well, and it didn’t avoid a meltdown by being calm but it was one of those “be the change” moments. I think with kids as they learn and grow, the best thing you can do for them is be the change, set the example, and they will eventually mimic your behaviour and learn and grow from that.
It is something I am trying to do with my life right now. I think everyone wants to be surrounded with loving and happy people and the only way to attract that kind of energy is to be that kind of energy. The people who aren’t attracted to that won’t stick around and frankly, that’s probably a good thing. Be the change, simple.
As we walked to school, he was laughing and running with his friends and having a great time. The pants were the furthest thing from his mind. In fact I asked about it and he seemed to have almost forgotten about them, not a big deal at all. That’s when I realize that I want to be like him, he exists simply in the present moment and any past angst is easily let go. When he moves on he truly moves on and just goes happily from moment to moment. I felt happy seeing him that way and silently hoped he would always be that way.
As I walked from the school, I took the youngest to playgroup- we took the long way to enjoy the walk and the sunshine. When we arrived at the group there was a sign posted on the door saying it had been canceled. I was disappointed, I really look forward to that group and having no advanced notice caused a swell of anger inside me; but then I thought of the pants from this morning, just head back home and play, not a big deal. I felt happy. As we were walking the little one pointed to the park that we passed and I said, of course, that’s a great idea and in the moment we went to play. I let go of where we should be, what we should be doing and we found fun at the park. We met a few new wonderful friends. As the little ones were playing together and moms enjoy conversation, I realized I was being just like my oldest son, just enjoying the moment and playing; I had left the frustration from the canceled group behind me and was free to simply be.