The other day Mario, my toddler son, and I were at the mall. Whenever we see little children his age we always stop and talk. On this particular day we met what I would consider an amazing little girl. At eighteen months old she knew her alphabet, could count to ten, was able to name a dozen different images of animals (and verbalize their corresponding animal sounds). She also knew the difference between singular and plural. “Cindy”, her dad said, “What is that?” She responded, “That is one cat, and that is two cats”. Impressive! Needless to say I felt like a bad mother because Mario doesn’t know his alphabet or numbers. We went home ASAP and broke out the flash cards and started studying. That little girl wasn’t going to show up my son!
Then it dawned on me that children learn different things at different times, and I shouldn’t sweat it that my son wasn’t up to par with the little girl at the mall. I know it is important for him to learn numbers and letters and we will continue working on those things. However, there are more important things for him to learn in life. These are the most important lessons that I hope he will learn in life:
1. Be grateful for what you have. I want Mario to be thankful for the life God has given him, for a family that loves him, and being alive and healthy.
2. The ability to love and be loved. I hope Mario will know how to love and show his love to others, to be kind, and be able to accept love from others in return.
3. To find joy in the little things. Life’s greatest pleasures do not come from having a fancy car, the biggest house, or brand new clothes. In Mario’s case, happiness doesn’t come from having the newest pair of Nike’s, the newest video game, or the coolest toy. I hope he will learn to appreciate a sunny day, spring flowers, swimming in the river, and playing in the dirt. It’s the little blessings from God that really matter.
4. Respect. Because you cannot be respected without respecting others.
5. To be honest. Honesty is one of the most important qualities to have in life, and I hope he will learn this from a young age.
6. The value of hard work. Nothing in life is free. You can have talent, but without hard work, you will get nowhere.
7. Be a good listener. It is impossible to develop meaningful relationships without learning the valuable skill of listening. Everybody can talk, but not everyone knows how to listen.
8. Patience. Not everything will happen when he wants it to. I work hard to be patient with my son so that he will learn to be patient as well.
9. Live in a way that you will have no regrets. I hope that Mario will live life the fullest and do his best so that he will never have to look back and regret a single moment of it.
Sun, July 15, 2012
by Salle Mickey