My darling baby Jace is turning 3 on Sunday, March 3, and I find myself getting sentimental at how grown up he has become. It seems just like yesterdy that I gave birth to him and now he’s running all over the place and talking up a storm.
Now that he is a toddler, I can’t help but look in awe at all the milestones he has gone through. From walking to speaking to doing things on his own such as putting away his toys. He now understands us more than he ever did when we talk to him. And he is now more aware of the world around him.
Toddlers, in all their awesomeness and naughtiness mixed with lots of charm and adorableness can be a handful but if you look close enough, there are life lessons that our toddlers can teach us. Some things we already know but have lost along the way in the process of growing up.
It can take us by surprise, these lessons they impart on us but they are all worth it to be able to share this journey with them. Jace, in all his tantrums and playfulness have thought me a lot of valuable lessons about life that I know I should already know but I really don’t or really don’t fully understood until I saw it through the eyes of a 2 years old.
1. Be in the moment
Anytime Jace eats or plays, I notice that he is focused on doing these things alone. His playtime or his eating time. He doesn’t get distracted by anything, even if it’s his favorite person calling for him. He is just there, enjoying wht he is doing until he is done with it. Looking at him, I have realized that in the chaotic world of adulthood, I often get distracted by a number of thimgs that I usually leave what I’m doing half-baked. As a result, I never get to enjoy the task at hand as there is another thing I seem to need to do. Looking at Jace, I realized that I just have to pace myself and focus on what I am currently doing. I realized that I should not let distractions take me away from what I am doing so I will finish it quicker.
2. Express yourself
Jace, as a 2 year old, has epic tantrums. I swear, the whole neighborhood can hear his cries and sobs. I don’t know exactly what sets hims off but sometime it can be as silly as not being able to catch a bubble with his toy claw. He is not shy about it, he will let out a humongous sob and cry his dear little heart out. Yeah, I know it can be annoying, maybe even irritating but upon relfection, Jace is just letting out his feelings. His feelings of annoyance, frustration, anger, or joy as when he jumps up and down and claps his little chubby hands when he gets somehting he likes. He is not shy at all to express his emotions. And I have learned that I shouldn’t too. Growing up, I have slowly been indoctrinated to keep my feelings in check. That is, shouldn’t let it show that much or people will think your strange or weird. However, bottling your feelings inside you isn’t good at all too. It can lead to many mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. So from now on, I think I’m going to be more like my son. Of course I won’t go as much as throw a tantrum when I don’t get what I want but I will surely, but politely, let my feelings be known.
Many times have I been thwarted by my enemy – resignation – when I do something and after a couple of times of doing it I keep failing. I just fling my arms into the air and give up. I mean, I did try it a lot of times already, right? If it’s gonna fail, it’s gonna fail. Or so I thought. My son, who is a box full of determination never gives up. He tries to attach his tiny toy car to his tow track and it keeps falling but he keeps doing the same thing over and over again, without fail. I, already getting frustrated for him, wish that he’d just give up but no, he keeps pusing through. Finally, on the nth try, the tiny car attaches to the tow track. My son was determined to do it and he did. That really hit home with me. It made me think that maybe instead of throwing in the towel, I should just keep pushing through because maybe I’m going to faill 99 times but succeed on the 100 time.
4. Unconditional Love
There are times when it is so hard to love my partner, parent, or even my child but Jace has taught me the beauty of unconditional love. Jace’s love for all of us shines through him and makes him glow. He always has his arms wide for a hug, his mouth is always turned into a smile, and his opennes to just accept anyone of us astounds me. I mean, there are times when we scold him, berate him, and sometimes yell at him because we are at our wit’s end because he is being too much but he doesn’t take it to heart. I think he know we are not perfect, we get irritated at times but he still loves us no matter what. With this, Jace has taught me to look beyond imperfections and just concentrate on the love I share with my partner, my parents, and my child. Without even trying to, my son has taught me the beauty of understanding where people are coming from so I won’t be that irritated anymore and to just accept them for who they are and love them.
I’ve lost my patience a number of times but looking at Jace, he has reminded me how it is to be patient. Jace, in his littleness, has learned how to patiently wait while his drink is being made, or while his favorite motorcycle is being recharged, or while his food is cooling down. He doesn’t frown or pout but silently sits in one corner and waits until everything is done. He even patiently waits for his Papa or his Daddy even when he’s itching to go already and they’re being slow. Something that have always annoyed me to no end. But Jace has taught me stop and slow down. He has taught me that not all things should be rushed. I should enjoy the slowness of things sometimes for it is in this slowness that we become connected to ourselves.
My son may still be all of 2 years old but the life lessons he has taught me has already reverberated into my being. He is growing up fast and I am getting heartsick about it but looking forward, I know he will remind me of the many things I have forgotten as I grew up, as much as I will teach him the beauty of life. Through his eyes, everything will be more colorful and through his love, everything will be fun. Yes, he is turning 3 on Sunday and yes, he is fast becoming a big boy but that big boy will forever be my baby and have my heart.