My eldest son Drake turns 7 today and BOY has that boy taught me some lessons.
1. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ~Ralph Waldo
Kids catch you in all your lies and half-truths. They don’t let anything sneak by. If you don’t have a good reason for doing something you’re likely better off not doing it.
They see everything and will call you on it. “Your actions speak louder than words” becomes gospel once you have children modeling your behavior.
2. Patience is almost always the answer
Drake is still working through learning how to be a human and thus doesn’t always know the best way to handle his feelings. This results in yelling, tantrums, crying, etc. (we adults still have this issue from time to time).
I have learned time and time again that patience, not anger or haste nearly always results in a better and more peaceful outcome.
3. Love does not prevent anger, but it can soothe it
I wish I was a person who didn’t get angry, but I am not (although I am getting better per lesson #2). But when Drake breaks something for the umpteenth time or does something directly opposed to what we asked anger often bears its ugly head.
In those moments it serves me well to think of my cute, sweet, precious miracle of life and just how much I love him. This helps me to recenter and figure out the best way to use the situation as a lesson to help him understand life and become a better human being (and for me to do the same).
4. Life goes so fast
I find it hard to grasp the fact that my little baby boy is 7 years old. Parents with older children tell you how fast they grow up and to cherish the time you have with them, but no matter how hard you try life gets in the way and boom your babies are all grown up.
Time is not slowing down for anybody and we need to embrace and cherish what little time we have with the people and things we love and appreciate. Otherwise, what is the point? Life will be over and done with before we know it.
5. We are not perfect
My son is perfectly imperfect as am I. I am a far cry from a model father or dad. I likely work too much, get angry too fast, and a list as long as my son’s birthday list of other faults. With that said I am doing the best I can and that is all we can really expect of anybody including our children.
Drake is perfect to me of course, but he is far from perfect. Yet, he is trying his very best to understand the complexities of this crazy world we live in and I am proud of him for his effort and progress.
6. Who do I want to be?
Seeing myself in the eyes of my son makes me think more deeply about who I want to be and how I want to act. I want my son to see me as a “superhero” and want to emulate me. I want to be the best role model he could ever have.
Before Drake, it was all about me and what I wanted to accomplish. Now it is all about what I can be FOR Drake (and Lachlan), what I can show him is possible, and what I can provide for him.
7. No greater gift
I do not believe there is any greater gift than children. The rewards, challenges, and personal growth that comes from raising a human is beyond words and without equal.
I am a better person because of Drake and I hope he ends up a better person than me because of me. Either way, I will take full responsibility.
Drake, I love you. I couldn’t be more proud of you. Thank you. Happy birthday lil’bub.