I have been a parent longer than anything else in my life. Because of all the years, and all the stages I have gone through with my kids, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot of important things not only about life in general, but, how much a child's perspective can be important even in your adult life.
Always Hope - When my kids were growing up, they always considered a "maybe" or "I will think about it" or "I don't know" as a YES. EVEN if we said "I doubt it, though..."; followed by all the reasons why it probably will be "NO". They hung on to hope until the "NO" was firm. They would cling to the shred of light they might see for whatever it was they wanted. The would hope that the weather might not be terrible to go out in, or that we would for sure have snow at Christmas. They believed in magic and dreams and that their prayers would be answered for everything. Kids don't give up hoping and believing very easily, either. Sometimes as parents, you have to let them know things don't always work out like you hope, and it breaks their hearts--and yours too, because reality can be so harsh at times. As adults, though, we tend to bend the complete opposite of a child. We tend to think the negative side of things over hope. We even pray at times with a caveat of "whatever is best" in our prayers. WHICH isn't bad in itself, but, it's almost like we doubt before we even have the prayer out of our mouths. Adults also tend to give up on themselves really easily, compared to how children cling to hope. My younger son could be in so much trouble, but, he would still always have the nerve to ask for whatever it was he wanted to do--even if he had been a holy terror! He believed. He hoped. He tried. We all need to keep hope alive and try. Seriously, what do you have to lose? If you already know it might be a "NO", then, it doesn't hurt to try for a "YES" now does it?!
The Importance of Time - When you have kids, you learn how important time is from the moment they are born. How much time it takes to do new tasks with a baby. How before you know it that baby is crawling, talking, walking...You just close your eyes for a second and BOOM it's all changing. You also see how time affects your child. Making a child wait for something can be torture to a child (and to you depending on what you are making them wait for). Anticipation for a child can be so huge that from the moment you tell them something until the moment the something happens, seems like forever to a little one. When you are a busy parent, you can see how important giving your child your time is, especially when you disappoint them a time or two. When you are a grandparent, you realize that time just gets faster and faster because your little ones are grown and have little ones now and it all seems like a blur. It all becomes so very important to tell your grown children this fact because you don't want them to miss out like you did on some things. You want them to know that things you thought were so important when they were growing up, are nothing now and how you wish you had spent more real, quality time with them instead.
Change Can Be Scary - Change for kids can be terrifying. When they are tiny babies, just a change in temperature can be upsetting to an infant. A change of light in a room can scare a child. For me as a kid, moving was frightening for me because it meant a new school, new kids to be around and nothing familiar. When I became a parent, I learned how important it was for my kids to have a routine. They were so much happier in general when we kept the same bed time (even if they didn't want to go to bed), or the same meal schedules or the even doing all the same things around the holidays. Sometimes I didn't realize that they were scared at first, if something was different. Even if I knew some things scared me as a child, it took me having kids and learning their reactions, to understand that a lot of times when they were upset, it wasn't just because they were being little jerks (although sometimes they could be!) but most of the time, fear was behind their reluctance for change in their lives. I don't know about you, but change can still scare me; how much more to a little one that has no real say in a lot of things in his/her life?
How to Forgive - This one still boggles my mind on how forgiving kids can be. They will be having a horrible fight with a friend one minute and then love them so much the next minute they cry when you have to take them away from their friends. You can be an awful parent, say something stupid, be too harsh, punish in the wrong way and your child will amazingly still love you and forgive how awful you have been. Children even have the ability to completely FORGET wrongs that have been done to them--while us as parents might still be angry with "so and so" for treating our child so terribly! Kids not only forgive and forget, they usually back it all up with a great big hug or an "I love you" added. How much can we adults learn from that?! If only we didn't harden our hearts and could learn to truly forgive in a way a child does for our entire lives, there would be a lot less hate and ugliness in the world, don't you think?
We spend a lot of time as kids looking forward to "growing up" and then as adults we wonder why we wanted to be grown up so bad! Maybe we need to keep some of our child-like wonder about life. We need to hope for the best, cherish the time we have with others, have compassion for fears others have and above all, forgive each other. I think this is a lesson I need to study every, single day.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush, Associate Broker, Flawed Mother and In Awe Grandmother