Perspective: Lessons from my four-year-old
Two years ago I wrote about things my two year old taught me. And now, after a year and a half that has changed my life, I come back to those lessons.
The first thing my four year old teaches me is a whole new level of mindfulness. Working from home while taking care of him has greatly deepened this practice for me. I’m often reminded that the best gift I can give her is my moments, even in the midst of the noise in my head, where everything feels heavy and rushed, and it’s hard to do.
Then comes the importance of feeling seen and known. Reflecting her reactions on him throws him into bursts of laughter and pleasure. Countless times every day I hear “Mom, look! As he shows me something he’s done. It’s a beautiful thing to feel seen and known by those you love.
Also, it reminds me to feel my feelings and embrace my reality. At four years old, my son has great feelings. He is known for his happy expression as a chocolate eater and for running free whenever he sets foot on a large open space. Conversely, he will also fall to the ground in tears at any time. He may need to learn to deal with his reactions, but he certainly knows how to handle his feelings.
So here’s a reminder on the power of mindfulness, to feel seen and to feel our feelings. The therapist Vienna Pharaon put it well: “we are always a student for ourselves and for each other”.
Life is meant to be lived rather than just going through the motions or knocking out that to-do list. Every day is a new beginning.
I am Jodi Ritter, and this is my grateful point of view.