Babes to Boys—Exploring Life’s Lessons
I believe children are here to teach us—the adults of the world—rather than the other way around. I have two boys—eight and six and the journey we’ve been on has not been easy.
My oldest, James began teaching me lessons as a baby. He was diagnosed with type one diabetes at a year old. He almost died, but four days after his diagnosis he was running around being jolly. I was stunned, terrified and overwhelmed, but his little spirit was just going and going. This was my first lesson from him—our spirits are designed to find delight in life.
A year after James’ diagnosis, my second son was born—Henry. Henry has had speech issues since he was two and he still stutters, sometimes significantly. But the amazing thing is that Henry doesn’t let it bother him. His lesson for me is to accept myself just as I am.
I have learned from my kids that I must be brave every day. I have to have faith and trust enough in myself and other people to go out into the big world and live. James has so many reasons he could be scared every day—shots, finger pokes, low blood sugar, high blood sugar. His life is literally at stake when he trusts other people to care for him, but he chooses courage over fear—every day.
My kids have taught me to be forgiving of others because sometimes I will need forgiveness. There are days I am worn-out, disgusted and bitter. I mess up and yell or simply don’t make good choices, but we talk about it, and they always forgive me.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from my boys is that love isn’t always pretty or easy, but it is always real. My kids can be fighting profusely one minute, and giggling with delight at each other the next. Love encompasses every spectrum of behavior. It isn’t black and white. It is a big mess of colors all waiting to be painted.
My children have reminded me there are great things to see and do. James and Henry help me remember to look at the moon and sit by the fire. They have taught me that we aren’t put here to worry and fret and complain. We are put here to love and overcome and spread joy.
The ultimate lesson that I have learned since having kids is that each one of us is ultimately responsible for ourselves. It is my duty to pick myself up, brush myself off and keep on going—no matter what. Life is worth living and the lessons I have to learn are vast.
My kids and yours are very wise if we will only watch and listen—this I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.