Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kid Lessons

I spend a large portion of every day instructing my children on what and what not to do. This isn't my favorite part of being a mother, but I am finding it to be incredibly challenging in a 'rise to the occasion' sort of way. Instructing littles on what and what not to do has made me realize how much of my knowledge base I take for granted:
*computer chargers are not to be sucked on
*millipedes are not to be eaten
*cars can kill me
*brownies are not a food group

The list could go on. This daily task has also made me realize how many of life's lessons are actually taught at an incredibly young age. A quick glance around me has made me realize the lessons I teach my children are not practiced by many, sometimes including myself...and has made me realize that truly almost everything we need to know about interactions with others can be/is/should be taught by the time one reaches 3.

1. Share - but not with everyone, not too much, not too little, and not all the time. Oh, and don't expect anyone else to share with you - they probably won't.

2. No matter how nicely you ask, how much you deserve it, or how many times you ask - the answer is just sometimes an irrevocable and resounding 'no'.

3. Mean people exist. Sorry. Try not to be one of them.

4. Throwing a fit only embarrasses you...and rarely produces lasting results.

5. Going to the bathroom should be done in the bathroom...that's why we have a bathroom...seriously.

6. You can hurt things, and people - please don't. But things and people are going to hurt you - when it happens, know it will be over soon, if it isn't already, and be strong.

7. You have the immense capacity to bring joy to others - a simple smile and hello can revolutionize a day.

8. Passing gas is funny. Always. Even if your mother constantly tells you it's not.

9. Use your words - no one can help you, understand you, or be proud of you if you don't. Nice words go a long way, too. A really long way.

10. Grabbing is never nice - don't grab things, don't grab people. Just don't grab.

11. If a good song is playing, be quiet and listen to it. If a bad song is playing, skip it or talk louder. 

and a bonus:

12. Music should always be danced to, you should always wake up to see special people or amazing things, sleep is important, and laughter makes everything feel better.

I think if we were honest with ourselves, we live by the assumption that many of these basic rules of life aren't true - that mean people don't actually exist, that if we ask nice enough or try hard enough it works out in the end, that if we are good - people or life won't hurt us, that we can't make much of a difference, that no one will listen if we use our words (which may be true).  But life isn't as gentle as we're originally taught, and we are not invincible or impervious to harm, nor will our mother always be there to mend it when things go wrong.

But there is always the laughter, and the music, and the joy we can bring to others - which means there is joy others can bring to us. It's all there, as always - the joy and the pain, the tragedy and the triumph. The fulness of soul breathing deeply.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sarah I LOVE this. So true, so inspiring in your backwards-witty-way.


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