I was going to use “empathy” for my word for today. But Elias, my ten-year-old firstborn son, has taught me so much, I would be remiss to leave him out.
Being a mother has changed me in ways I didn’t expect. It’s brought out all sorts of fears and anxieties, but it also helped me rediscover my creative, fun-loving side. I do things for Elias that I would not do for anyone else, even myself. He’s curious, enthusiastic, kind, smart, generous and forgiving. I could go on all day, but I will spare you too much of the proud mom talk.
He makes me want to be a better parent, a better person. He teaches me more about forgiveness and kindness than I could ever hope to teach him. One day when he was in first grade, I was walking him to his classroom. If you have a boy, you know that when they see wide open spaces, this screams to them RUN! So instead of walking nicely beside me all the way to his class (and what boy does that anyway?), he ran ahead of me. When I finally caught up to him, I took him aside and lit into him with a lecture about walking with me, not running down the hall, yada yada yada. He said not a word the whole time, just stood there and looked at me. When I was done, he stood there for a second, looked right at me, and gave me a big hug before going off to class. Talk about feeling like a schmuck.
Now that he’s ten, he does get mad at us more often, but it never lasts long. In five minutes, he’s back to normal, asking ten million random questions a minute.
Kids have so much to teach us if we’ll pay attention. They cry freely, they laugh often, they see life as a great adventure. They’re just themselves. Somewhere along the way, we as adults often lose these qualities. What a shame. But how blessed we are to have children to remind us what life is supposed to be about.