I've only been a mom for 6 years (6 and a half, as my oldest son would point out) but I've found the experience to be a perspective adjuster; life changing to say the least. Here are a few of the things my boys have taught me:
1. There is no such thing as a toy that is too loud, too messy or too obnoxious. When playing, the rule is, the louder the better. The messier the more fun. I tend to approach life cautiously, quietly. But sometimes reckless abandon is super fun.
2. Brothers are for wrestling. It is apparently impossible be near another young boy and not take him down. My husband assures me that this is normal little boy behavior. I'm hoping they outgrow this one.
3. Listening requires not just your ears, but your eyes as well. "Momma, momma, momma, momma, momma..." I can reply "yes, I hear you, uh huh, what do you want, yes son" but until I look up and WHOLE-FACE listen, they don't think I can hear them at all. Hmmm. Think there might be some wisdom there...
4. Bodily functions are funny. There's no deep application here, it's just part of being a little boy - or a big boy as it turns out.
5. There are adventures to be had every day, you just have to know where to look. A stick is a perfect sword. A pile of pine needles is a giant nest. And the possibilities with a box, blanket or flashlight are innumerable. I think I could take a cue from them on this one. Maybe the dust on my furniture came from fairy wings. Or the toilet, ummmm never mind.
6. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING can be turned into a competition. Brushing teeth: who's the fastest? Stacking blocks: whose tower is highest, or who can knock it down? Whose arms are longer? Who can jump higher? Who's got the most toe jam? And don't get me started (again) on bodily functions. I think this one closely relates to #2 above.
7. Low tech is still awesome. After unwrapping a pile of gifts at Christmas, they wanted to go outside and blow bubbles...the bubbles from their stockings that Santa purchased at the Dollar Tree. I really need to remember this one next Christmas.
8. Kissing a boo-boo really does make it feel better. The kiss, the snuggle, the sympathy, and the assurance that the scratch is not life threatening are all it takes to send my little warriors back into the fray. I know some grown-up warriors that would appreciate my sympathy and assurances too. (But the kisses are reserved for the daddy-warrior at our house!)
9. The best things in life truly are free. (Yes, I know it's not original to this list, but bear with me.) Lying on your back finding cloud shapes, picking flowers to give to mom, digging in the dirt, collecting sticks or bugs or leaves, riding your bike, laughing, eating ice cream, splashing in the bathtub, hearing a bedtime story and then praying to Jesus about the things that are on your heart - these are the makings of a perfect day for my boys. Sounds pretty good to me too.
10. And perhaps the biggest lesson that I have learned from parenting three little boys is to what extent I would go to protect them from any hurt. I would have a very hard time purposely allowing them to get a splinter or a paper cut for you, dear reader. To allow them to be tortured, mutilated, and nailed to a cross to die for someone else is unthinkable. My boys are teaching me of God's great love for me, His unthinkable sacrifice, His level of commitment to my salvation.
I am blessed to be their mommy and overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with that title. So what little gems have your little (or big) ones taught you, oh parent? Silly, serious, thoughtful, frivolous - what lessons have you learned?