My son is turning two today. Sometimes I’m still in shock that I’m a mother. I’m not exactly “motherly.” I struggle with cooking, I hate cleaning. You should see my car—it could be roped off as a disaster zone for the mess it’s currently accumulating.
Most mothers of two-year-olds have Disney c.d.’s next to their child’s bed. I have hip hop mixes featuring Eminem and Jay-Z and The Lonely Island. My kid sports a Mohawk that I died green last week. His fingernails are painted green, too.
Most moms read their kids cozy picture books when they’re newborns that feature fuzzy bunnies and puppies. The first book I read to Kaleb was Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. (Hey, I just want to instill creative plot and visual description writing examples into his head). When kids are acting up, I hear moms say something like, “Now, Amy, Mommy’s going to count to five, and you better quiet down. One…two…” When Kaleb fusses in public, I say, “Dude, what’s your problem? Chill out. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
I’m learning that no matter what I do right or wrong, all my little guy wants from me is love. As long as I hold him, tickle him, talk to him, pay attention to him, give him five hundred kisses a day, he’s happy. He’s taught me so much. Parents think they’re teaching their kids all of these fabulous skills, but you know what? I don’t think we teach them all that much. I think they are the ones teaching us most of the time. They’re uncoiling us from our previously over structured lives and helping us laugh more every day.
Kaleb doesn’t understand time. Hurt. Fear. Panic. Stress. Worry. Fatigue. He doesn’t even understand when he’s sick and should take it easy. Those are three words he will never understand: take it easy. And why should he? There’s so much to do and enjoy, why sit around and take it easy?
He is 100% in the moment. He doesn’t understand the past and the future, all he knows is now, so he immerses himself in the moment. It makes him so funny and creative (and exhausting). He doesn’t dwell or wish for tomorrow or next week. He doesn’t have a five year plan. He has a five second plan. I like that.
Here are other pieces of wisdom I’ve picked up from him:
Life is a party. The more the merrier. Open yourself up to new people and new experiences as much as you can. Keep you door open and make everyone feel welcome.
Laugh at yourself as much as possible.
Don’t let people shoot down your crazy ideas. If you say you’re a clown flying in the sky, then yes, you most definitely are.
Howl at the moon.
Be spontaneous. Don’t over plan. Nothing happens the way you expect it to, so roll with it. Embrace the unexpected.
Each day is a gift, a present to open. Every person is a new best friend, every sidewalk is a treasure trail, and every hill is a mountain.
Life is a thousand piece puzzle to dissect and question. You can never ask enough questions.
Thanks for all the life lessons, little buddy. I still have so much to learn.