Our most rewarding journeys as a parent happen in the most imperfect parenting moments. It’s foolish to think that the kids don’t notice our shortcomings, it’s just that they have accepted us with our imperfections. Not a day goes by when my children don’t remind me of my own lessons of empathy and gratitude for what we have. After all, I try very hard to instill these qualities in them. They also make me realize that when it comes down my kids, their expectations with me and everyone around them are pretty basic. I don’t even have to go as far as George Carlin to put my kids on a street corner and come back to see if they are still there a week later. They won’t run away because sadly they don’t know any better.
Being present with them has thought me to be childlike with my thinking.
- That way we don’t rule anything out.
- Think really small, take baby steps, never answering anything big and don’t have to leave midway when things get overwhelming.
- We would go for the obvious rather than over-complicate every situation.
- Take into consideration things that other people might not think are reasonable.
- Have no preconceptions or biases.
- We would see ourselves for who we truly are, and not for what we aim our worth and success to be.
- We would cry one minute and laugh out loud the next.
- We would all engage in brainstorming, while no idea is a stupid one.
And when you create such an environment at work or home, all the best ideas rise to the top.
And wait! Who needs comedians like Seth Meyers when kids are around? When my younger one recently wanted a bowl “that I didn’t need anymore” for his water colors project, I began looking for one in the cupboards. He inquired, “How about calling Talitha to ask her to give back at-least one bowl that you had given off to her?” I LOLed at his ingenuity but had the presence of mind of not following through with his idea of asking my cleaning lady to return the old bowls I had given away recently.
Children are the only ones that love us without judgment, celebrate our smallest victories and have their antennas up for our distress. Their uncanny attunement to their surroundings makes their emotional wealth seems prodigal. Their definition of daily success is already simplistic and filled with bursts of creativity. Let’s consider ourselves successful as parents if we are able to teach them to take time to imagine and become what they want to be. And to think of the possibility that what we do now with our children will make them a somebody, someday – and that it is up us, now, this minute, is a powerful thought.
I hope you are still with me on this one.
Tonight, I want to be alert to listen to my kids humming, “Sunshine in my pocket” in the back seat of my car. I want to be alert enough for my ears to burn in love.
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