I finally reached one of the best milestones in life a couple of years ago, and I now have a 2-year old grandson. Everyone knows you can’t get to grandchildren without having kids of your own, and we also know that none of us has the time to appreciate all the special little achievements that our own children complete on a regular basis.
But now, with the time to sit back, watch, and enjoy every second of his visits with me, I have realized that he is already a very smart little boy and I can learn a lot from him. Learning life skills seems to start early. So here’s what he is teaching me.
- Persevere – Never, ever give up on trying to get what you want. If you really want Grandma to get down Grandpa’s model tractor so you can play with it, keep finding a different way to get up the stairs to Grandpa’s office. Go through the dining room, go down the hallway, just move faster than Grandma and you will probably get there.
- Acquiesce with good grace when thwarted…. and then just look for another way to get what you want. Smile at Grandma and pretend you have given up. And then, when she is distracted, go after that tractor again!! You know – if at first you don’t succeed??
- Work Hard – Try to lift heavy things, help Mom with groceries, making dinner, vacuuming, and picking up the toys. If you do the hard work in life early and often, it will seem easy when you get older. Or maybe as a teen you will decide you have worked hard enough already and become a slacker/whiner! (Grandma will love you anyway!)
- Have Fun – Run around in circles, laugh hysterically when you roll on the floor, get everybody around you to play with your toys, smile at strangers, jump in the leaves, slide down the hill in the snow, splash in the shower, dance to the music—just make every moment count and make it fun.
- Love Everyone – Give Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad big kisses and hugs, cuddle your stuffed toys, chase the cat so you can snuggle him, name all the special people in your life that are pictured on your refrigerator. The best part is they will love you back and that leads back to having fun, getting what you want, etc, etc.
- Treasure Your Friendships – Share your toys with friends, be nice to the babies, and never kiss and tell. When asked if his special friend, Clare, is his girlfriend, Cody just smiles and looks coyly away.
- Love the Outdoors – Observe everything you see outside, like the ants crawling on acorns, the wind blowing the leaves around, the worms Grandpa dug up in the garden, the footprints in the snow, a big hawk soaring out of the tree in your backyard, the sun, the moon, the stars and the clouds. It’s all amazing and awe-inspiring and there’s no better way to learn about the hand of God in all of creation.
- Always, always wear a hat! A good hat is a man’s best friend…and very cool.
And when you come to the end of the day, you can enjoy a good night’s sleep, knowing that you can get up in the morning and enjoy all the wonders of a new day all over again. It would be great if we could always remember to love life like a two-year-old!
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