With all this rain in the forecast I’m thinking about a similarly weathered week, probably just about this time last year. My sweet little two-year-old reminded me of two invaluable lessons in the same storm and I’m excited to share them with you on this grey day.
The first lesson was this. It had been raining for what felt like days. I was very pregnant and sick of being stuck in the house with my toddler. So, the second the clouds parted, I packed up the stroller and walked to the gym. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for getting moving until, as I was collecting my little one from the childcare center, I glanced out the window and watched as the next storm cloud rolled in. It seemed to just be drizzling so I went ahead and loaded up my sweet child. Like a good mom, I added another layer of pants so she would be warm enough and made sure I covered her as well as I could. As we walked away from the gym and it started raining harder and harder, my self-talk was something along the lines of miserable self pity. I was grumbling in my mind about poor pregnant me, walking up the hill with my “freezing toddler” in the rain when I happened to glance down and saw the happiest little hands and feet reaching out from under the stroller canopy doing what I can only describe as “dancing in the rain”. I stopped and asked her if she was having fun and she said “Yes! We’re having an “ABVENTOOOR’ mommy!!!.” And my mom heart swelled and overflowed and even broke a little bit with the incredibly beautiful sweetness of it all. She changed my whole perception of that moment and reminded me that life is an adventure if you allow the beauty and excitement to seep in.
And here is the second sweet lesson from a two-year-old. As we sat down to dinner that night. I was feeling tired and was very much looking forward to tucking my babe into bed and having a break from parenting. She was taking FOREVER to eat her dinner and asked for me to turn her chair around so she could watch the rain through the window. I took a deep breath, turned her chair around and looked out the window with her. Suddenly, I was a little girl back in the living room of my first house, kneeling on the couch looking out our big window, watching the lightning. In my memory it is unclear which parent is with me, perhaps they were both there or perhaps they each shared a moment like that with me at different times. What is very evident in this memory is the calm, warmth and protection of my home and family and the shared experience of awe at the world around us. And in that moment I was able to slow down and be present with my precious child.
I have learned over these last few years that these little humans are very wise and have much to teach us if we’re able to pay attention. Sometimes I am able to pay attention and the lessons are immense.