THE GIFT OF PLAY
All of us adults knew how to play at one time in our lives but somewhere along the line, we contracted an Alzheimer's of the spirit. The world became a deadly serious place and we forgot how to laugh at ourselves. The solution ? Learn from the kids how to lighten up. Blow some bubbles,slap around a balloon, kick a beach ball. The kids will show you how.
THE GIFT OF HONESTY
We didn't start out this way but most of us have all learned to be phonies. We dissumulate and tell lies and pretend to know stuff we really don't, all to protect our fragile egos or status or whatever. Life is easier for kids. If grandpa has a big nose, the kid will say “Grandpa,you have a big nose.” Children have a built-in honesty that is refreshing. What a gift !
THE GIFT OF TEARS
This gift is especially valuable for guys. When kids are hurt, they don't feel like they have to stuff their feelings. They cry. It's the most natural thing in the world. We kid ourselves when we think it is weak to shed tears when we are in pain. The ability to cry comes naturally to kids. That's one reason they recover so quickly. Watch the children and we can re-learn what was once so easy for us.
THE GIFT OF WONDER
When did you last marvel at a butterfly in flight or let a lady bug crawl up your arm or splash in a puddle, or stand in silent awe before the miracle of a rainbow ? Hey, we used to do that kind of stuff. Remember ? When did we decide that we no longer had time for wonder ? Kids do take the time and in doing so, show themselves wiser than adults. Just watch them and maybe you will wonder again,too.
THE GIFT OF HUMILITY
One of the reasons kids learn at lightening speed is that they are not afraid of making mistakes. No one has told them yet that it is shameful to screw up. I took skiing lessons with my daughter when she was about seven years old. She fell down twenty times to every fall I made. Guess what ? She learned to be a pretty fair skier. I made less mistakes but never learned to ski. We adults need to remind ourselves of something we all knew as kids…mistakes are part of life.
THE GIFT OF LIVING IN THE PRESENT
I don't know who first came up with the expression, “Carpe Diem,” but I expect it was first said by a ten year old Roman kid. Children live in the present. It's their gift to us adult worry birds who are forever wringing our hands about what might happen five years from now. Sure some planning is necessary but too many of us parents live in the future and never get around to enjoy the moment. Kids know better.