Our kids teach us patience by making us patiently watch (without tapping our toes or fingers or grinding our teeth) while they pick up blocks, one by one, while we think we are teaching them the habit of cleaning up after themselves. And sometimes they decide to kick it up a notch and take a minute or two to examine each block and before putting it in the box where they belong.
They teach us to enjoy the little things in life. Literally! One of the prime examples of this life's lesson is when we go on walks, my son would stop in the middle of the pavement and make me crouch down and watch a tiny little worm squeezing its way through the pavement blocks. Would you have even noticed such a spectacle if your child doesn't point it out to you thanks to the close proximity he is to the ground?
Our children hone and sharpen our quick decision making skills. Imagine you by the stove making that French omelette which you make so perfectly because you pay attention and flip it with precision and finesse of an expert. Now imagine your toddler whom you are in the process of potty training, shouting from the top of her lungs "mummyyyy. Poo"!! you have just seconds to decide whether to abandon the omelette or risk poo on the floor or worst yet the carpet! So its either omlette or poo? And we all know which we will choose, so I rest my case.
They teach us foresight and hindsight and all the other sights in-between. Because as moms we have to plan everything to the dot. We have to think forward and look backwards.
They teach us perseverance, when they would throw tantrums and cry and whine and tell we are the worst mothers in the whole world and top it off with rolling on the floor in their efforts make us succumb to their demands for more sweets, toys and as of late more tv time and mobile phones. We have to hold fast to our beliefs and persevere and weather the storm.
They teach us the importance of a good workout by making us go up and down flights of stairs hundreds of times bending over while holding those tiny little fingers when they were learning to walk and the stairs felt as if it's a mountain they just had to conquer.
They help us improve our acting skills as well as our imagination on days when we just don't feel like getting out of bed. They make us get up and put on our game face and prepare us to face another day with determination to do the best we can.
They give us free lessons in anger management, when you have guests over and they unconsciously wipe their dirty hands on your newly upholstered sofa despite your repeated warnings. And you can't react in any other way than lovingly admonish them all the while in your mind you are counting from 1-10 and then 10-1 to keep yourself from flying off the handle.
We become students of law and law makers. They teach us Law you say? Yes. Murphy 's Law. The law being that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong and that's explanation enough. And its proven we are law makers as well thanks to our kids. Ever wondered who invented the five second rule or the ten second rule about picking up food from the ground? Wonder no more. It has to be a mom!
Our little darlings teach us teamwork. When we put aside our differences and collectively plot against, plan and trick and share tips and hints to get our kids to eat their vegetables or to stop them from sucking their thumbs.
So let's forget about teaching our kids and accept we have been schooled all along. Let's celebrate those tiny gurus of our lives and truly appreciate them for who they are. Let us be thankful for every tantrum, every "accident" and every embarrassment, they are handing out life's little tests to us. They are making us strong, agile, adaptable, witty, smart, sensitive, and the list goes on.
And the final and the most important lesson they impart on us. They teach us the true meaning of love. A love which transcends all human boundaries, a love so unconditional it breaks your heart and heals it at the same time, it's the most amazing kind of love only your child can give you when you see her for the first time screaming her lungs off and your breath just catches and you find it hard to breathe because of that awesome feeling of indescribable love. A love that ties you to each other long after that umbilical cord has been cut. A love that tells us even after the most difficult day of being a student of life, when your children are fast asleep, how blessed you are to have that magical bond with each other.