A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of watching my nine-month-old son. This may not seem like a big deal, however, this was the first weekend that he and I would spend together alone. As my wife walked out the door, she turned and assured me that all would be fine and we would have a great time.
I didn’t doubt her, but there was a lingering question in the back of my head asking, “Are you sure you know what you are doing?”
Admittedly, I didn’t. I knew that I had to change him, feed him, play with him, and give him a bath, but other than that, I didn’t know how I was going to entertain him for an entire weekend.
As he looked at me with uncertainty (and rightfully so), I took a deep breath and asked him what he wanted to do. To my amazement, he said nothing.
Back to square one.
After a little back and forth, it suddenly dawned on me that I had a unique opportunity to undo everything that my wife had taught him and teach him the things that I wanted to teach him.
I could teach him how to use power tools, play football, learn how to play Xbox, and many other “cool” things.
Much to my chagrin, he had no desire to learn any of these.
It took some time, but after the “feeling out” phase, we had a blast.
We played, sang, danced, read a few books, and napped together.
The most amazing part of the weekend was not all the things we did together (although those were amazing), but rather what he ended up teaching me. Here are 7 lessons my baby taught me.
1. Be Fearless
As I watched him stumble his way around things, I realized that he is relentless in his pursuit of walking. As with any new skill, learning can be a struggle. What makes his pursuit remarkable is that his struggling only forced him to work harder at it. At such a young age, he understands that his goals will not happen if he does not work at them.
2. Challenge Authority
He has just about mastered this. While unable to construct words yet, he has become very proficient at vocalizing his displeasure. Too often, we are afraid to speak up for fear of judgment, rejection, or ridicule. Much like him voicing his concerns, if you know there is a better way to do something, speak up.
3. Never Stop Learning
Watching him is the most amazing experience. He uses the senses that most take for granted (touch, taste, smell, hearing, and feeling) to learn and interpret his surroundings. He understands that to achieve his goals, he must be willing to learn in different ways.
4. Try New Things
He is constantly attempting new things to see what they are and how they work. Yes, he gets frustrated, as we all do, but he never gives up, which is something that we all need to do.
5. Unconditionally Love Those Around You
No matter the time, day, or moment, when he looks at me, I know his love is unconditional. He has not had the time to experience love in any other way and due to this, remains innocent. Love is the answer. There is a reason an entire decade was formed around it.
6. Never Forget Who Matters Most
At the moment my wife walked back in, his eyes lit up. Go home tonight and show those closest to you the same display of affection.
7. Zero Prejudice
He willingly goes to anyone. For him, it does not matter who they are, where they came from, or what they do. In a time of such uncertainty, imagine what would happen if we all took a moment to experience life in this way.
Life has a funny way of teaching us, and on occasion, these lessons might come from the most unlikely of sources. For me, that source is my son. The moments that he and I share together and the lessons that he has taught me will be things that I will never forget.
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