“Maturity is all about losing your innocence”
I have always maintained that children; be it Kalyani, the first child I spent a lot of time with; Lil, the special one; or 2 of my own, can actually teach you very valuable life lessons if you really just listen to them. And I mean listen, not you talk and they must listen scenario or not the time they are forced to talk to you scenario. That time when they are in the mood for some harmless banter, they are better than the best life coaches! They are little philosophers with an uncomplicated life view and the truths they utter are often profound, refreshing and very applicable to our lives as adults. If you have your own children, then I am sure you’ll agree with what I am talking about. If not, then closely observe them, next time you are around them and you’ll see I’m right.
Here are some thoughts I have had after those little banters or rather, here is what my girls are teaching me…
Everyday is a fresh, new beginning!
Ami wakes up everyday with absolutely no baggage from yesterday! In terms of food, activities or even fights that I have with her, the girl doesn’t carry over anything from yesterday. One night I asked her if she wants Rava Idli as dinner and she said yuck! The next morning, assuming she would not eat them anyway, I was munching on one when she asked me why I didn’t give her one! When I reminded her what she said last night about it being yuck, she amazed me when she replied with a “but that was yesterday, amma!”. This is true for everything! Everyday is a new beginning. How many of can start afresh each morning, forgetting all the bad stuff of yesterday?
Show some courage
Say the word dance and my younger one who is turning 2, would get on the floor and shake every inch! Kids can sing out loud and dance when they feel like it without any inhibitions because they are not confined by fears of failure or humiliation. They march forward with hope and determination because they don’t know any better and even if they have been beaten down, they do not know to give up! They embrace life and all it has to offer with open arms. What an attitude to keep!
Kids, they don’t need a joke to laugh out loud. The girls have taught me to see laughter in the most silliest of things. I am slowly learning to find joy in the most negative of places and sunshine on the darkest days. It is a work in progress, but this one trait I will hold on tight and make sure they never shed when they grow up.
Be thy Hero
Have you noticed that when children narrate the events of the school every day, they tend to be the center around which the story will revolve? And also, the fact that they love saying their name a lot? Like, a lot! As children, they really do feel that they are the best and they are just not ready be put down. As we mature, we don’t want to be conceited or egotistic, so we downplay our accomplishments and achievements. We don’t want to brag. But in doing so, we often slip to the side of self-deprecation. We put ourselves down to make others feel better or to be more social! Modesty becomes an admirable quality and we start to convince ourselves of our own mediocrity. Sad, but true.
Beauty is in everything
Tango, our 2 year old Labrador is a constant source of delight and is the joker of the family. He can make us happy just by lying down with all 4 legs up in the air. The sound of our shoes when we approach the door, after our day in the office, makes him happy. Ami loves it when we give her surprises and Cookie loves being tickled. Something simple that we take for granted brings them such immense joy and profound inspiration. When did we stop noticing the tiny miracles that surround us daily? How much more beautiful would life be if we could see these miracles again?
Above all, something everyone must also remember is that as an adult around a child, it is a behemoth, immense and a terrifying responsibility—the fact that you are being watched and that everything you say does matter and makes a big difference. However, imagine what a lovely world it would be if we could just hold on to all that innocence a tad bit longer.
So, whether you have kids or don’t, whether you like them or don’t; whether you want to make a difference to a child’s life or don’t, remember this poem every time you spend time with a child;
Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
-Dorothy Law Nolte
And each day, I feel terrible that the girls are growing up and slowly on a day not so far away, they will become one of us…adults.