Each week I try to encourage parents to parent from the heart; loving unconditionally and seeing their children for the gifts of life they are. In sharing my life’s teachable moments with you, my intent is to encourage you to make the most of the teachable moments you create and fall into with your child.
This week, however, I’m going to take a different approach. This week, in honor of my daughter Olivia’s birthday, I want to share with you just a few of the life-lessons she’s taught me over the last 26 years in hopes you will acknowledge what you've learned from your children. And believe me, she’s quite a teacher!
- In trying to come into this world 4-5 months early, she taught me that I would do anything and everything to keep my children safe.She also taught me that doing anything and everything to keep your children safe is completely worth it.
- She reaffirmed (many times over) that it is never okay to fill someone else’s grocery cart with random items off the shelf…even if you are an adorable toddler and that when apologizing to strangers about retrieving said items from their carts is easy, you need to make a lasting impression on your adorable toddler.
- I now know that when your child wanders off in a department store your child doesn’t feel nearly as stressed and frantic as you do.
- She taught me that you can define yourself rather than allowing other people or your surroundings to define you…that you can be a graceful ballerina AND a girl who pulls her weight working sheep and hauling hay.
- When she said “When I grow up I want to be a teenager” she was teaching me that reaching smaller, more attainable goals is what most of us need in order to keep making goals at all.
- When she broke out in song in the middle of Walmart at the sight of a nun wearing a habit for the first time (“How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria), I learned that the world won’t stop turning if you do something a bit unconventional. I also learned the rumors that nuns never smile and don’t have a sense of humor aren’t true.
- She taught me that one of life’s greatest blessings is to be both mother/daughter and friends.
- She taught me that I’m not always right—that it’s not possible to pick blackberries without getting chiggers no matter how much bug spray you put on.
- She taught me that bad choices and hard times don’t last forever if you keep on loving and praying.
- She taught me that when you realize God is all you have, you’ll also know that God is really all you need.
- She taught me that the labor pains of adoption are far worse than anything any of us who give birth naturally would ever experience.
· And the lessons just keep coming…
- She teaches me that strength and perseverance is more about what you think and how you feel than it is how far you can run.
- Because of her I know that daily phone calls from your child are a blessing that should never be taken for granted (even when I tease her about it).
- She recently revealed that when I’m least expecting it she will surprise me by being more like me than I ever imagined.
Happy birthday, Olivia! I love you and am thankful I am both your teacher and your student.
Now my question to all my readers is this: what have you learned from your children and are you putting what you’ve learned to good use?