When I found out in May of 2008 that I was pregnant, I didn’t realize the magnitude of what I was getting myself into. Sure, I knew that babies and children required constant care and supervision. There would be diapers to change, formula to fix, and plenty of sleep deprivation.
Those are the things that people warn you about…things they prepare you for when you get that big fast positive home pregnancy test and announce to the world that you are going to be a mommy.
What they don’t tell you, is that this little person…this tiny little miracle that you are going to be bringing into the world…
is going to best the BEST teacher you’ve ever had.
My little boy has taught me three of the most important lessons you’ll ever learn…
There is no such thing as a “good” person or a “bad” person. There is just a person.
I picked up on his innocence and love for people while watching him watch cartoons one day. There was an episode of Mickey Mouse on Disney Junior, and, as per his usual, Pete was being a bully. I can’t remember the whole episode (Something to do with soup? And a sick Goofy?) but what I do remember, is my son sitting quietly in front of the TV and urging Mickey and the gang to share their soup with Pete. There was no notice that Pete was doing anything wrong. No acknowledgement that he was being mean. Just that there was someone there–Pete was there–and he needed help.
When someone does something wrong to you, you forgive them and then forget about it like it never happened.
Talk about a gut-wrenching lesson to learn from your own child. After my total breakdown this week, Little Man has shown me that it IS possible for let go of the wrongs that have been done to you, and get on with your life. And still have a special place in your heart for the person that did the wrong to you. For no other reason than because I was exhausted and frustrated and tired of being a parent that day, I let something simple that I would have normally handled differently, turn into a situation that resulted in me spanking my child when he didn’t really deserve it. And in spite of the fact that I did him wrong, HE apologized to me and then let the whole situation go…showering me with hugs and kisses and cuddles like I had just given him a shiny new bike (okay, probably not a bike…but maybe a bowl full of Tootsie-Rolls of a brand new Lightning McQueen toy). Can you imagine what this world would be like if adults learned that lesson?
If you’re going to do something, do it right or not at all.
Little Man is vigilant when it comes to how to play with his toys. Some say it means he is spoiled and only wants things his way. But, if you sit down and really watch him and observe what he’s doing, that’s not the case. In his mind, when he’s doing something, he’s doing it because it’s the right way to do it. You won’t see him sticking his cars in just any old bin when it’s time to clean up toys. They have a place-a correct place-to be stored. You won’t see him arranging the magnetic letters on the fridge in just any old way. They need to be lined up and straight. And when it’s time to clean up the tub after a bath? There is a place for the shampoo bottles and water toys. And he’s definitive in putting them where they belong. To him, you either do it right, or not at all.
Motherhood is a blessing in so many ways. It really is. But seeing my son live his life in such an innocent way…seeing the world in a clear black and white, rather than with shades of gray like we adults tend to see it…is life altering.
What lessons have you learned from your children?
*photo by Amy @ Simply B Photos