In less than three years, my son has taught me more things than I think I’ve ever taught anyone in my whole life.
He’s taught me to have confidence in my self, to trust my instincts, and to fight for what I believe in. He’s taught me that you have to make things happen, not just sit around and wait for them to happen to you. He’s taught me not to be scared of social interactions, not to avoid something that seems hard, and not to mope over tiny matters. But most of all, he’s taught me to find the joy in the mundane; to find the happiness in the tiniest of details.
When it comes to toddlers, simple things are the most triumphant. A spilled glass of water is not a mess, it’s an invitation to splash, play, and pour. Mopping up said mess when the play part is over isn’t a chore, it’s another adventure. More often than not, the bigger the mess, the greater the pure delight.
A rainy day is not a downer. It’s not a reason to hide inside and wait for a better day. It’s a chance to play in the puddles, pop open giant umbrellas, and catch raindrops on your tongue.
After having a child show me the world through his innocent eyes, the “everyday” has become eventful, exciting, and intriguing. I think of the tiny pure delights that light up my son’s face and my day can’t be bad: the sound of an airplane flying over head, peeling the lid off a fruit cocktail cup, reading the same bedtime story over and over and over again.
There’s no reason I can’t take a page out of my son’s book and find the joy in the hidden spaces of our chaotic life. Yes, parenting changes everything. You have every right to endlessly complain about how hard it is. On a daily basis I can easily drum up a long list of excuses as to why I failed, yet again, and how many things I did wrong. But I don’t. Instead, I try to see my adult life through my child’s eyes. I ride the grocery cart like it’s a race car. I dance while mopping. I pick up a book from the adult shelves when we visit the library and spend 10 minutes reading said book before bed. A book with more than 5 words, no pictures, and pages that weren’t made of cardboard — amazing!
When I let go for a little while and let my two-year-old son be the role model, instead of the other way around, my days are lighter and happier. Instead of my husband coming home to a crazed lunatic, like he so often has in the past, he can come home to a happy, mostly refreshed wife. And more importantly, I’m ready to begin each crazy day in the life of mom yet again and again.More On