gcfr7o., <---- That was Baby L's contribution to this blog post ;)
I often talk about how my class size has been reduced to one, but the truth is that I've actually returned to school and Baby L has a class size of one. She teaches me far more than I teach her, and much of her milestones and achievements are acts of God and not the doings of this bumbling mommy.
I thought that I would share some lessons and big overarching conceptual understandings that I've learned from my 8-month-old instructor.
1. Love What You Look Like
Baby L doesn't wake up in the morning feeling like she's having a fat day or a bad hair day. She usually sees herself (whether or not she knows it is her is irrelevant) in the mirror or the iPhone and immediately starts grinning and laughing. She loves who she sees, and isn't caught up with her "flaws" so much that she can't appreciate the cuteness that is there. Why do I look at what is missing, what is wrong, and what is imperfect rather than embrace the features I *do* have?
2. Wake Up With a Smile
Although this doesn't always happen, Baby L often wakes up with a grin on her face and a ready smile for Momma, even if it's followed by cries of hunger and or frustration. Her first instinct is to smile, to face the day with a positive attitude. It reflects a joy and a hope that she has that the day will go well. For one who knows the Joy-Giver, you'd think I would wake up with as much optimism as she does, but I don't. I'm learning.
3. Take Delight in the Little Things
Baby L likes to crawl around the floor, and often her attention zooms in on the most random little things and discoveries that give her great delight. White care tags underneath the rugs, the zipper tag on my Bible cover, the noise that is made when she bangs her hands on the mirror or the hardwood, the feel of her rug under her palm - these are all worth a million bucks to her, even though they usually don't even warrant my attention. Sometimes I need the big stuff to get excited over, even though there are plenty of small things that would probably elicit as much delight if I stopped chasing the big things in order to pay attention to these little ones.
4. Be Curious
My child is currently in the sponge stage of her development; she absorbs much information and is learning to make connections to figure out her world. Part of these new learnings occur when she goes exploring, when she takes (guided) risks and tries new things. "Hitting the surface of the water will cause the water to splash." "If I pull at the corner of this rug, there is hardwood underneath." "When I put X in my mouth, it tastes bad." Of course, Baby L has to step out of her comfort zone in order to learn these things, and sometimes she has to do something that is "out of the box" to acquire new understandings. She doesn't mind this, however, since she does not perceive the world as a scary place but as an interesting one. Oh, if only I would be as curious and filled with wonder, willing to try new things and gain new insights.
I tried to copy my kid for a few minutes last night. It was exhausting. She is constantly on the move, and even when she is lying down, she will kick her legs or roll around. It's tiring just watching her, actually. But it is also a good lesson to learn, because she is exercising her body so that it will get stronger and healthier, and she will grow and develop as God intended. I, on the other hand, am the master of excuses for why I should be resting, why I shouldn't move more. My body is not getting stronger and healthier, and is not developing optimally. I want her energy levels!
Anyway, those are just some of the big lessons that come to mind. I remember reading Fulghum's book, All I Ever Needed to Know (I Learned in Kindergarten), and marveling at the wisdom he found in observing children. Now I know what he was talking about, because it's not just from the mouths of babes, it is from the actions of babes, that sometimes the biggest truths and lessons can be gleaned.