On Your 7th Birthday
A dear friend once asked me if it was difficult being a parent because you are always teaching your child. I actually laughed when he asked me this. I couldn't help it, his question was so far from the reality.
"We don't teach our children. They teach us. We are merely here to guide them," I responded.
So, on your seventh birthday my girl, I've come up with a list of just some of the things that you've taught me.
Every time I see your smile it reminds me to spread love and cheer.
Listening to you ramble on about goofy things reminds me that life can be enjoyed light-heartedly.
When a loved one passed away and you told me it was okay because "we would always keep a piece of them in our hearts," you taught me that love is eternal.
When I see you hesitate at something scary and look back at your dad for reassurance before carrying on, it shows me that it's okay to want help and security.
Every time I see you persist past your fears it reminds me that we are strong.
When I go mountain biking and I see a line that intimidates me, I think back to the many times I've told you to let go of unnecessary fear. My words resonate inside my head and I take my own advice.
Your sense of fashion reminds me that sweatpants are not accessories.
Every time I get frustrated and snap at you and I see you face crumble it teaches me that words have power, and that power can be used for both combating and creating pain.
On the days that I wake up and you're trying to make me breakfast (as unpalatable as it usually is) it reminds me that small gestures go a long way.
Listening to you play with your friends reminds me to call my loved ones.
Your millions of questions of "why" light a renewed sense of curiosity within me.
When you come home from school and tell me that you're worried about one of your friends because they had a rough day, you teach me the power of observation and the importance of listening.
For the days that you drive me crazy and it takes every ounce of energy to refrain from walking away, you teach me patience and self control.
When we went hiking and you sat down and wanted to quit because you were tired, you taught me the importance of rest, the importance of listening to your body, and the importance of down time.
On that same hiking trip, instead of giving up, we talked it over. You decided to go a little further, then a little further, and then suddenly you were bounding up the mountain looking for another rock to climb. In that moment you taught me the potential of the mind.
So little one, on this day we celebrate you and all of the wisdom you have shared and will share with the world.
And to my friend who was wondering if it is difficult to teach children, I hope this answers your question.