“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about” – Angela Schwindt
The quote above came across my vision today while reading an email from a professional contact. It caused me to stop a while and think about the meaning. It is not that I have never recognized the life-lessons that parenting gives me. I suppose I have not stopped too often to truly think about the daily things my children do that I learn from.
Almost immediately upon becoming a parent, I was hit with the reality of the grand importance that children are to this world and how incredibly important it is to protect them, show them love, and nurture them along the way. It is not just important; it is vital to our existence as human beings. It pains me greatly to know that there are many children throughout the world who do not have anyone to teach them about life. It is also tragic that some children do not have parents they can teach what life is about to. Too many children do not have anyone significant in their lives that will listen to their stories, hang their art on the fridge, or encourage their imaginations.
My children show me on a daily basis what life is, or at least, should be about. They are masters of forgiving and forgetting. They say they are sorry when they do something wrong (intentional or not). Even better, they accept apologies and move on as if they have not been wronged. We adults struggle with this, although we know better.
They notice things like the color of the sky, the shape of clouds, and the little sounds that can be heard on any given day if stopped long enough to hear. Sometimes I forget to pay attention to these things until I am gently reminded by them to look up, or listen to the birds chirping outside the window. They ask questions about why things work they way they do. They are eager to learn from the adults around them. If they do not know what something is, they will try to investigate it as much as they can and as age appropriate. Again, sometimes I find myself wanting to move through the day without anything “new” happening.
There is freshness and vibrancy to their thoughts and intentions. They do not set limits on how things can be fixed or how people can be helped. They absolutely believe that they can make things better and are creative in ways they can do this. They believe that their sweet cards or pictures are the best gifts they can give. My kids love telling their family how much they love them, and they end each day wanting “just one more hug and kiss”. All of these things are really just a few examples of what my children show me, and what I continue to learn from.
My 3-year-old daughter recently told me that when she was a baby in Heaven, Jesus taught her all she needs to know about being here. Her comment stopped me in my tracks. It was one of those moments where I absolutely believed she knew and meant every word she was saying. There was so much truth to what she said. Christ has told us and continues to tell us how our lives should be led.
Like children, we should work on renewing ourselves each day. We should forgive and forget. We should approach those we have wronged with genuine sincerity in asking for forgiveness. We should take time each day to take in the incredible creation that is around us all of the time.
We need to seek daily how we can impact those around us for the better. Our words should be of love. I hope that I never stop learning from my children and my Lord. I may work hard at teaching them about life, but I know deep down that they will probably always be teaching me what life is really all about.