A toddler has taught me some simple, but pretty important life lessons.
The toddler in question is 19 months old, the same age that Hugo should be. His mum and I were pregnant together. We meet up as often as is possible – the little boy is adorable, and we have such fun together (plus I think he knows a softie when he sees one). I treasure the time we spend together, and the opportunity to play at being a Mummy for a couple of precious hours.
Spending time with him, I can’t help but see the world through his eyes. Eyes that are new to the world, full of wonder, and not yet cynical.
Through him, I have been learning some valuable lessons:
When you see someone you are pleased to see, don’t be afraid to show it.
Flash them your biggest smile, show them how excited you are to see them. It can make the person feel pretty special, and even make their day.
Things are not always what they seem
Trees are not just trees, and nor are chairs, tables, TV remote controls, or clothes pegs. They are hiding places, climbing frames, items of joy and fascination. Things can be (nearly) whatever you want them to be, with a bit of imagination.
If something causes you pain…
Take a few moments to indulge it, have a cry and a cuddle. Perhaps point accusingly at the offending object (even if it is inanimate). Have your moment, acknowledge it, forget about it and move on.
If something is boring, don’t do it.
Or at least spend as little time as possible on it. Just get it out of the way. There are so many exciting things in the world to spend your time on instead!
If you don’t want to eat something…
Pick out the bits you do. Don’t overthink it.
If you hear some music you like…
Just dance. Don’t worry about where you are, or who might be watching. Enjoy a little boogie!
If you see something beautiful, spend time admiring it.
There is so much beauty in the world – be it in the form of a flower, a garden gate, a cat, a picture, pretty lights. Don’t be afraid to exclaim “Wow!” and stop whatever you are doing to spend some time admiring it. Even better, get your friends to come and admire it to. Make time in your lives for beauty.
Colouring-in is the best thing EVER!
Well to be fair I knew that already.
When you take your leave of people you’ve enjoyed spending time with…
Give them an indication of how upset you are to be going. People like to be wanted, and feel loved and valued.
and last but not least, perhaps most importantly of all…
Just GO FOR IT.
Life is wonderful, amazing, full of potential. Embrace it with both arms. Fill your heart with the joy of all that is beautiful and special in the world.
Cherish every moment.
Thank you, Little Man, for these precious life lessons, and the light you bring to my life amidst the darkness without Hugo, with whom you should be playing and causing havoc.