Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lessons From My Kids

Naturally, over the years, I've taught my boys hundreds of things, like any parent would. Basics like how to brush your teeth, how to get dressed, how to speak nicely to people, how to put the toilet seat and lid back down when you're done, etc. And then those other random things like:

You can't put a band-aid on your tongue if you've bitten it

The dog doesn't like it when you squeeze him

We color on paper, not on the wall, or the floor, or your brother

But they've taught me plenty, too. Things that adults tend to overlook, or take for granted - things that we really should take at least a second (or longer) to notice and enjoy. I love how they get excited over the simplest of things. Just as much as God assigns us to raise and train our children, I think He intends for us to learn also from the innocent heart and mind of that child.

One example that often comes to my mind happened about 12 years ago, when our oldest was around 2 or 2 1/2 years old. We were driving across town to a good friend's house, where I was going to drop off Noah while I went to an appointment. We were running late - as people so often are - and with one eye on the clock, I was mentally grumbling about hitting practically every stop light possible along our route.

Then, less than a mile from my friend's house, we got stopped at a train crossing (of course!) I was pretty annoyed; but Noah was SO EXCITED because this really cool, and very long train was going past, right in front of us!

After finally being able to continue, we soon came to another back-up; a small construction site. Again, I was groaning about the time and being delayed even more; but in the back seat, Noah was laughing and exclaiming, "TRACTOR!! TRACTOR!!"

We arrived at my friend's house, with me feeling very stressed out and hurried, and Noah all animated and excited, chattering on and on about the most exciting drive we'd had, that included seeing a TRAIN! and a big TRACTOR!

I remember thinking later about how differently Noah and I viewed that trip across town. Of course, Noah had no concept of the time, or my responsibilities that day. But I've never forgotten how excited he was. It was a reminder to me not to always be in such a hurry that I miss the good things in life around me.

Recently, Noah and Isaac started making a big deal whenever they notice that the time on the digital clock reads 1:11, or 2:22, or 3:33 . . . They've even made up a few little songs, and a synchronized little dance that goes along with it! It cracks me up every time!

And it's a common occurrence around our house to stop everything and go running to the front window to watch some squirrels chase each other around the yard, or look at a cardinal or blue jay on our bird feeder. Even a line of busy ants gets noticed and paid attention to around here.

Try to look at the world with fresh, childish eyes today!

(one of our squirrel friends in the front yard tree)


Mom said...

How precious - and how very true! We need to be able to "stop and smell the roses," as is said. Not just to look at them and admire them, but to stop and smell their great fragrance that is not usually available to only looking at them. Wishing you many more childlike days and events! :)

Nancy said...

My mom says that when I was a kid I was always looking up. She loves to tell a story about how I had a whole group of people in a store looking up to try and figure out what I was looking at.

Looking down and all around is good too. My boys always seemed to find really neat rocks or bugs that way. But somehow I think that looking up was a good habit for me to start early. Ha!