“Enjoy the children in all their children-ness and be mindful of not losing your mind over the little things. Their children-ness is why you became a parent, is it not? And before you know it, the whole gig will be over.” Monica Bielanko
Children-ness is such a great word. The ness reminds us that it’s a trait, a phase, not a permanent state. Children-ness is a place as a parent that we often rush through trying to cram all of the life lessons we think our children need to become responsible, compassionate citizens of the world. But, children-ness can also teach us adults some pretty amazing lessons if we are open and free to learn. A few that I’ve learned from my mini that have helped me with my approach to life + creativity in particular:
- There’s always time for a dance party. My S is the best spontaneity instigator I know. Breakfast picnic, why not? Bath dance party – bring it on! Ice cream BEFORE dinner – yes yes and YES! In a world where we as adults can schedule ourselves to the minute and list out each day’s duties with no moments of fun built in – spontaneity is a wonderful break reminding us to enjoy the LIFE and not just the living. Smell the lavender, eat the cookie, take the road not mapped out by GPS. A break from routine and life always seems to inspire + refresh me, no matter how short the break is.
- Show up, be brave. This is best seen in how my daughter approaches two things in life: art + dressing. In both, she is a fearless lover of color, pattern and boldness…layering pattern on pattern, color mixing with abandon. But in both of these things, she’s also so confident in her unique style – that she pulls off the impossible every time. When I let her dress me, even in a small way (we’ve started with the shoes) I find I feel a little happier and tend to get more compliments on my style. In my art, I’ve also embraced her fearless confidence and am drawing, painting and taking more photos. I won’t say I’m good at what I’m doing, but I’m having fun, and that makes it all worth it. In other parts of my life, I’m pushing myself to take more risk – while trusting that my 40+ years on this planet have shaped me in a way that if I follow my gut, it will all work out. Maybe not as I planned, but exactly as it should.
- It’s okay to feel it all. This little one of mine is an emotional ball of whatever she is feeling at that moment. She hides no emotions, and I think she is healthier for it. She shows love to her friends, family + caregivers freely and daily. If she’s hurt, she’ll let you know – explaining what you did to hurt her feelings – all with the intent of talking it through, forgiving and getting back to living + loving again. I’ve never talked so much about my feelings with anyone as I did before this observant little creature showed up in my life, and I think I’m better off for it. I now am more aware when I’m feeling anxious, stressed or sad – and am okay to let those feelings pass while I explore them + what caused them. And when I’m happy or content, I’m aware + grateful.
I’m so thankful for this child, in all of her children-ness and all that she is teaching me daily. Of course, I look forward to watching her become an amazing young woman someday (too soon), but for now, I’m learning + soaking in all I can.