Lessons From My Daughter

I noticed the yellow leaf pointing the way on our hike in Japan. But my daughter would have just as easily picked up one of the dried, brown leaves or even a wood chip with as much fascination as I had for this shiny, yellow one 😉

Greetings dear readers,

I know I’ve been absent for much of this year.  My life has certainly changed since my daughter was born. But it’s a wonderful new adventure. I wanted to share some of my experience with you. My daughter has opened my eyes to see the world in new and exciting ways. I’ve learned to let go of a lot of things I can’t control. Spit-up on my new outfit? No problem! Dried noodles stuck to the wall? No big deal. Waking up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying baby? Well, not so great, but you get used to it 😉 And extra snuggle time with my daughter is a bonus!

Now that she’s 15-months-old, it is really fun to engage with her as we play. She mimics a lot of what I do, like putting her stuffed animals to bed and feeding them from her cup. But what I enjoy the most are the lessons she teaches ME.

  • She appreciates the small things: stones, wood chips, leaves; and she notices little details like a tiny string on the floor or  exactly where she left a single block a few hours or even days ago! When we’re at the zoo, it’s not just the animals she pays attention to, but the wooden fence and posts fascinate her just as much. As I hurry through life, thinking about what I need to get done or where I need to go next, I often miss the little moments, which are really opportunities to experience wonder and joy at this truly phenomenal world we live in.
  • As I mentioned above, my daughter LOVES leaves. As soon as we go outside, she starts looking for them, often picking up one for each hand. Fall is by far her favorite season, which I guess makes sense, since she’s a fall baby. Her middle name even means, “fall child.” Because of her love for leaves, I notice them more when I’m out walking or running, so much that I end up trying to find her the most unique and beautiful kinds–brilliant red, pointed with serrated edges, giant and spade-shaped. But what’s interesting is that when left to her own searching, she usually grabs the oldest, most crumpled, brown leaf she can find. And she holds it tightly, loving it as much as the others, maybe even more. This has taught me how I judge beauty and the aging process.
  • Another thing my daughter loves is grapes. She’s truly a grape monster, especially when it comes to the “moon-drop” variety. She’ll literally try to leap onto the table to get to them. And when she’s eating grapes, she gobble them up faster than she can chew. But what’s really amazing to me is that as much as she loves them, she’s still willing to share her favorite treat with others. When my husband and I are sitting next to her, she’ll offer us one, bringing it right up to our mouths to feed it to us. And not just one, but several. When I’m eating my favorite snack, I tend to hoard it, delighting in the deliciousness, without thinking of sharing. Now, I strive to be more like her–sharing what I like best with those I love.

As we head into the peak of the holiday season, I hope you’ll stop and notice the little things–a beautifully lit Christmas tree or a snowflake on the tip of your finger. When you drink a warm mug of cocoa or a special coffee, maybe you’ll think of sharing it with a friend. And when you search for that perfect holiday outfit, maybe you’ll remember your favorite sweater in the back of the closet, worn out but still oh so snuggly!

Happy holidays 🙂

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