I thought I had it all figured out. Go to work, pay the bills, go out with friends and do it all over again. Then came baby, and everything changed. There was still work and the bills, but friends went out the window. When he was almost two, I started staying home and awaited baby number two. By now he’s two and a half, with a six week old sister, and I realize more and more each day how little I truly knew.
Although I knew how to keep the electricity on, I knew very little about energy. I’m talking about the kind of energy that never stops and can drain you before noon. My little man can run for hours. You can tell he’s tired when he starts running even faster, squealing even louder, and laughing even harder. Those are also the times he cries even easier and gets even more upset. A two year old is pure energy in every form. When he’s happy, he’s purely happy. Nothing gets between him and the energies flowing through him. It’s enough to make me start questioning my own wiring.
I have been told that I’m articulate, and I consider myself to be pretty in tune with how I’m feeling, but I’m a long way from being open the way my son is. Every day he shows me that all those times I assumed my patience was superior I may have been wrong. Not only is he capable of frustrating me in a way very few people can, he can also pacify my anger like no one else. If I was truly as stable and strong as I thought, would that make me impervious to his powers? Perhaps all mothers are affected so strongly by their children. Maybe it is what allows us to teach them; it could even be the reason they feel safe with us.
Although I appreciate that he can point out my flaws, I love the good things my son has shown me. I wasn’t aware how loudly I can laugh, and had forgotten how easy it is to have good clean fun. There are no sarcasm or slapstick routines in our play room. We can just smile for the sake of smiling. A “gentle poke” is as rough as it gets, and we giggle as we command to each other, “YOU sing it!” Even when I’ve heard it for the hundredth time that morning, it brightens my day to see the joy in his eyes as my little boy tells me that Buzz Lightyear flies “To in-fly and bee-yooond!”, and is endearing that he hasn’t yet learned that it’s really to “infinity.”
So as the days pass and my little man grows taller, older, and wiser I teach him many important things. I teach him to share, say please and thank you, how to be gentle, how to be kind and generous, even how to control his bodily functions. But I can’t help but think that somehow the things he teaches me are at least as important. He teaches me about myself, about happiness and peace, about connection and love. This life has gained so much enrichment from the teachings of a two-year-old. I wonder what his sister will show me in a couple years.