There’s nothing I love more than spending time with Charlie’s and my grandbabies, as their “GiGi.” Through their innocent eyes, it always reminds me of what’s truly important. And as much as I hope to teach them in the years ahead, I am in awe of all that they’ve already taught me. Here are just some of the things these sweet ones have taught me.
Sing. Play. Dance. And do it like no one’s looking. Think of how a little boy, with the most out-of-tune voice, will still belt out their favorite song at the top of his lungs, or the little girl who just has no rhythm, but nothing pleases her as much as ballet. Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. So sing in the car or the shower to your favorite song. Or have a dance party with friends for no reason. They would, and they do.
Lose the fear of getting hurt. I know, I know – easier said than done. But just look at the way that kids approach things. Remember the first time you saw your little one run towards the monkey bars, jump in the pool, or slide down the slide? They go heart first, with little regard of what might happen. While I’m not suggesting you go play at a park, I am encouraging you to go running towards what excites you, without letting fear hold you back. The reason they are able to do this is because they don’t think of the consequences. While we don’t always have that luxury, on the rare occasions that we do, take the opportunity. And, on second thought, a mid-day park playdate might be just what you need, too.
Use that imagination. Isn’t it one of the most enchanting things in the world to watch your kids or grandkids playing when they don’t know you’re watching? They are filled with imagination and wonder. We can all use a bit of that. For adults, it’s just called creativity. Have you imagined writing a book or planning an elaborate feast à la Julia Child? All it takes is a little imagination, a little time, a pinch of patience and a bit of faith. Like the children, let your imagination be your guide.
Know when it’s naptime. Sure, they might dread it, but proper rest fuels them up for the next adventure. We might not get to have naptime every day, but kids teach us how important proper rest is. It can relax you, energize you, and better prepare you for everything you have to do.
Make time for treats. Kids thrive on rewards, and so do we. For them, it’s special snacks, stickers on sticker charts and gifts brought home by parents. But, why should the kids be the only ones who get treated? Sure, we get raises and get to sometimes go on exciting vacations or attend fun parties, but make treating yourself a priority. Whether it be getting a massage, taking a bath, getting in that workout, reading a book, or indulging in your favorite rich dessert, don’t forget that grownups need treats, too!
Make friends – and forgive – easily. It is always amazing to me how easily a child can make a friend. I have watched children literally walk across the playground from the swing set to the sandbox with a determination in their step like “I’m gonna make that kid over there my friend.” And guess what? They do!! Another thing they do? Forgive easily. Kids don’t tend to hold grudges. Sometimes, it’s even hard to understand as a parent: “But you said you hated them and were never going to talk to them yesterday??” It doesn’t matter to them. All is forgiven over a shared lunch. We might want to try this peace strategy, as well.
Moll Wants To Know: What have the children in your life taught you?