Naima is an avid explorer. Even in the womb, this girl moved with agile determination. She enjoys a good swing or sliding board as much as the next toddler, but also likes walking through the park, picking up flowers, digging for rocks and climbing into trees.
A few weeks ago she layed down in the grass, gazed toward the placid indigo sky and smiled. Not a tepid smile either; one filled with the kind of innocence we see in children, before the world has convinced them to hold fast to reality and stop dreaming Her quiet exuberance is contagious.
Oh, what lessons she taught me in 2 minutes:
1. Stop expecting and start experiencing.
Hitting the park together does not mean staying on the swings, or sliding board, Mom. There is a world beyond what I “should do,” and I intend to embrace it.
What kind of lives would you and I lead if we turned away from the “should” syndrome? This tendency towards compartmentalizing expectations for our kids goes beyond them and impacts other areas of life, too.
How often are we frustrated because partners, friends, or family members defy our expectations, choosing a path we do not approve? It’s difficult, this pulling back, but there is freedom in releasing the need to control. Every day, I am learning this lesson.
2. Slow down, and enjoy.
We live in the era of multitasking on speed. Everyone, everywhere is busy, all the time. Between floods of emails and navigating social media, our minds move incessantly. Being still is a lost art. It’s not lazy, this desire for tranquility, I promise you all, those times heal us in numerous ways.
In those few moments, lying next to Naima, I absorbed the natural beauty of birds, their rhythmic songs. Oh what lovely sounds.
While my pre-kid life included random meditation (when I could sit still! Ha! ) and walks around the track, headphones were never far away. Reflecting back on those days, I missed so much.
When you and I are open, the lessons come to us in many forms. These days, mine are often taught by our spirited three-year-old who is determined to help Mommy see life with different eyes.
What lessons do your kids teach you?