“You learn something every day if you pay attention.” ~Ray LeBlond
Kids are awesome. They’re SO friggin awesome. I wish I could be a kid again. And since I can’t, lately I have made sure to let the little girl in me play whenever the opportunity arises, especially when playing with my daughter. We really let loose, and we become a silly pair. It’s soooo much fun!
One night I was in the kitchen putting away the dishes when my daughter walked into the room and said that she wanted to hang out with me. She climbed up onto the counter next to the radio and turned it on. The station I normally listen to has changed its programming to Christmas Carols only (Oh no! I said the dreaded, un-politically correct word – Christmas!). I was caught off guard because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to listen to them. With all that I have been going through – divorce, unstable employment, emotional episodes, stress (I’ll stop here, or else my post will become a list), I expected the songs to trigger a landslide of emotions for me. I have been dreading the arrival of Christmas and have been prepared to take out my Grinch hat. For my daughter’s sake I pushed away that fear and decided to enjoy the moment and join in with her and sing “Jingle Bell Rock.”
I asked her what she was going to ask Santa to bring her this year. She sat there for a moment, thinking. She responded with “Mommy, I really don’t want much this year. I’m happy with whatever Santa wants to give me.” I was astonished with her response, and sad at the same time. My little girl of 6 years is growing up, and yet has learned a very valuable lesson at such a young age. I hugged her and said “I’m sure Santa will get you some really nice things.”
We continued to sing Christmas Carols, danced a bit while cleaning up when she became really serious. She stopped me and said “Mommy, I’m afraid that Santa gets left out. He’s so nice by giving everyone presents, but I want him to feel special too. Can we get him a hat just in case his gets ruined?” I said “Sure, Honey, that’s a fabulous idea!” Her face lit up, and she became so excited. She said “I’d like to leave it out with the milk and cookies for him, and the carrots for the reindeer.” What she said really pulled on my heart strings. Her question stopped me in my tracks. I was in awe of her, so much wisdom for such a small little girl. And to think, if I had changed the radio station, this conversation would not have taken place.
I have noticed while playing with her is that when I let myself be open to receiving, she is actually a really great teacher. I learn so much from her. She is so in tuned with her surroundings and other people. It’s not only her, I think. I believe that it’s like this with all kids.
If only most of us adults would think this way. Be pleased with what we have, be grateful for what we are given, and give to others because we want to, not because we have to. And most of all, listen to kids, they can ground us and bring us back to ourselves and what really matters.
To my darling daughter, you have given me the best Christmas present ever. I look forward to learning more from you. Love you lots.