Each day, regardless of what’s going on, or which side of the proverbial bed I woke up on, my kids remind me how to enjoy my life.
They remind me that it really is these little, free aspects of daily living that are the most breathtakingly delicious–and the most easy to overlook.
They remind me to pause, just breathe, and of the power in doing these eight things daily:
My kids smile a lot, often, and every day. Yes, they’re miniature people, so they, too, have better days than others, and days when they don’t feel great, etc, etc, but, nonetheless, they smile and laugh and find something to naturally enjoy.
They remind me that beauty and happiness are always simultaneously present with every other more difficult feeling and experience.
My kids get mad and upset occasionally because, again, they’re little people with feelings, personalities and their own life situations. That said, they move past these personal injuries more easily than I sometimes do. They remind me to check back in with how wasteful it is–of my energy and my ability to be joyful–and, equally, of how useful it is to try and move forward, and not let the past dictate my present.
3. Stop giving away f*cks.
Their presence is also so important in my life and in my heart, that when I look at their small faces, I’m reminded to not carelessly give f*cks away to other people and hurdles that ultimately don’t matter.
4. Beauty really is inside.
My daughters appreciate people who are kind to them, who make them laugh, and who look them in the eyes and are truly present with them. In short, my kids are continual reminders of the beauty in this world, and the beauty in people that has absolutely nothing to do with external appearances.
5. Racism is learned.
I honestly can’t help but wish I could postpone the day when my kids understand that this world isn’t as fair and as loving as we all deserve it to be. In the meantime, I’m trying so hard to teach them to love and embrace all people.
My children have personality traits that have been unique and present right away, and I have no doubt we’ll one day look back and see some of these exact same expressions and qualities in their adult selves.
This means that I try to give other parents the benefit of the doubt. More, I try to appreciate and accept our individual differences as people.
It’s our job as parents to guide these children to become who they are born to be, and not who we want them to be. It helps to be living examples who appreciate our own individuality, too.
7. Love doesn’t have to be hard.
My marriage takes work. Maintaining friendships lately takes work. Still, if the people that we choose to bring into our hearts don’t usually make us smile, feel supported and loved, and generally encourage us to be better people, then maybe we need to consider that love isn’t meant to always be a struggle.
8. Nothing is permanent.
I recently colored my hair blue. It’s been such an eye-opening experience, as far as celebrating my personality outside of my role as “Mama,” and in giving myself permission to enjoy my life without being overly serious.
Nothing here is permanent, from the blue dye that washes out of my hair with each shampoo, to these little-kid snuggles or these moments of “Mommy, I need you.”
I want to grow and evolve as a human being. I want to try to be better than I was yesterday, but I want to enjoy this time that I have here on Earth–and my kids remind me that embracing who and where we presently are is a huge part of finding internal happiness and success.
I’m so grateful for these two special tiny humans who open my soul to the reality that life might be hard, but that happiness is often right here in the simple things.