Seven Lessons I Learned From My Children

This isn’t really the type of post that appeals to me – a little mushy, I guess. But I’m subjecting you to one anyway.

Life is unpredictable.
Damn right. Nothing you can do about it, so just roll with it.

It is okay – even preferable – to be a little strange.
The daughter takes great pride in her weirdness. She cultivates it and at one time had a goal to be the weirdest kid in her class. I don’t really remember being eleven, so maybe this is normal. But I know that very soon she will more likely try to fit in and become overly-concerned with her appearance and mannerisms. I think we all need to be willing to embrace what makes us unique.

Don’t worry, be happy.
Okay, maybe this one comes from the song . . . just a little bit. The little man is a happy kid (except when he is angry, but let’s ignore that part). Everyone we have prolonged contact with comments on it. He wakes up everything morning happy to see us with a smile on his face. That smile makes me smile and my day is instantly a little bit better. I try to keep a little bit of his happiness with me every single day.

Laugh lots.
Is there anything better than making a baby giggle? Yes, making a four-year-old special needs child giggle uncontrollably by slow-motion-fighting in the living room. Or even better, making him giggle uncontrollably just by popping in and out of a room. The very best? Making your eleven year old giggle uncontrollably. She doesn’t do it very often.

Don’t hide your excitement.
Forget restraint. Throw your hands up in the air and yell “Yay!” when your favorite television show comes on. Kick those legs hard when the waiter brings you dessert. Text all of your friends when you figure something out in a new video game. These are all hypothetical of course, but you get the picture.

Pay attention to the packaging.
Bear with me here, this one is a bit of a stretch. You know how children will ditch the toy to play with the box? Or ignore the gift to put the bag on their head? The little man does this, of course, but the daughter does too. Even at the age of eleven she can still appreciate the packaging. [Well, she doesn’t put gift bags on her head. Let me set the record straight before she reads this and gets angry.] My kids savor every single bit of an experience – they pay attention to the packaging.

I’m not cool.
Right now I have a little bit of cred with the daughter’s friends because I am the young mom with blue hair (my husband is the “fun dad” and I love that because my dad was always the “fun dad” growing up). I also don’t understand how to speak to them and probably treat them a little more adult that I should. Aside from that . . . kids are never going to think you are cool. You are always going to be the boring adults who listen to weird music and watch weird television. Just be okay with it. It is going to happen to them too. Ah, sweet revenge.

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