Children certainly don’t come with manuals but they do come ready to teach you a whole slew of lessons. When my first loca came into the world, I knew I’d begin to experience life in a different way. As she’s grown, she’s continued to teach me valuable lessons. Here are just a few.
Lesson One: Selfishness is out the window
When it was just me and The Boof, life was simple and easy going. What I said went and I went wherever I wanted. It was Nikki’s World. All of that went out the window when Loca #1 was born. It wasn’t a shock or some unexpected side affect, but it was apparent immediately that all of my thoughts, wants, and needs quickly became centered around her.
I’ve learned that there is a difference in being selfish versus selfless. Selfishness is a gift you take. There’s no permission granted. No bestowence upon the worthy. It’s straight up robbery of others time, efforts, and needs. Selflessness is a gift you give. You offer your time, efforts, and needs to those that deserve it. It was the least I could do for this precious life that was given to me.
Lesson Two: Life is fragile but fear is awful
Every scrap, every bump, every tear was a painful reminder that life is fragile. The first time I saw blood oozing from one of Loca #1’s limbs, I about freaked. Okay, I did freak. My baby was bleeding!
The only rule parents are predestined to know is that they must keep the child safe – life is fragile. I took that rule to heart and just about jumped out of my skin every time she fell. Sure, life is fragile, but what is exciting about life if you’re constantly living in fear. Believe me, I thought of many ways to keep her safe while playing in her natural element. Bubble wrap. Cushions. Knee pads. All of it was just a mask for what I was really instilling in my child – fear. Once I realized I had a hand in teaching her to be fearful, I had to just stop it. It’s been hard. I catch myself jumping up when she falls but manage to cover my mouth before I blurt something out.
This lesson has been the hardest to learn. My dramatic tendencies have a way of coming out when I really don’t want them to. It’s something I’m sure I’ll have to continue to work on for the length of their childhood.
Lesson Three: Play more often & Be goofy
I’m not sure when it happened or how it happened but somewhere along the path to adulthood I lost the ability to play. I was stiff and “too grown up” to play. When Loca #1 was born and even months after, I still had a hard time letting my hair down and playing with her. She was too little to play or have much of a reaction, which made it harder for my stick-in-the-mud self. However, around the six month mark, I started to get smiles and giggles from her; and I realized the more goofy I was around her the more laughs I would get. Children’s laughs are amazing. They’re authentic and unforced. Once you receive one, you NEED more. Loca #1 taught me how to play again. She reminded me that life isn’t fun if you can’t let loose every once in awhile.
Lesson Four: Stay true to your word
Pre-loca I was indecisive. I’d say I was going to do something and if I didn’t feel like doing it, I wouldn’t. As Loca #1 has grown, she’ll make numerous requests to do or eat something (usually play a game or have a lollipop). In the beginning I would say yes, and occasionally I wouldn’t be able to play. I’d get home, cook dinner, give her a bath, and it would be bedtime. She’d always remind me as I was tucking her into bed, “Mom, we didn’t play.” It hurt my heart to see how disappointed she was with me. I’ve since learned that I have to stay true to my word and if I know realistically that I won’t have time, I’m now more honest with her. It can be hard at times but I don’t want to be the mom that disappoints her children.
What lessons have your children taught you?