Becoming a parent was one of the oddest adventures I have ever taken. Looking at it from one direction, having a kid was something I had given much consideration to and genuinely wanted. But from the other side, I saw that a child represented unalterable change to my relationships, my work, and of course, my free time. Having a child was something I wanted, but not for any one discernible reason. It was unknown and scary, but it was also a lot of fun planning and preparing for. And it wasn't until Jacobi was born that I realized my reasons for wanting a kid:
Growth. Not just Jacobi's growth, but my own.
In his short life so far, I have taught Jacobi many different things, but he has also taught me. He has either reminded of things that I've known all along and just never paid attention to, or he has just flat out forced me to see things his way. Both cases result in me learning something.
1. Smile When You Are Happy.
Pretty simple, and I think probably a lot of us adults might be able to benefit from this one. Jacobi smiles A LOT. Despite the "tantrum thing" I'll get to in a minute, he is generally pretty happy. I know this because for a good portion of his day, he is smiling...smiling because he is happy. As a grown up, I think it's easy to forget to just be happy sometimes.
MY LESSON: Be aware of your emotions, and when you're happy, show it!
2. Enjoy The Squirrels.
To translate loosely, enjoy the little things. We have squirrels that come to visit in our backyard (mainly because I have been feeding them large handfuls of peanuts). But I only started doing this because Jacobi would light up like a freakin' roman candle when he saw them. This, in turn, made me light up like a roman candle. Similar reactions occur around fans, clocks, and drains.
MY LESSON: Take notice of the small things around you. They might just make your day.
3. Twenty-Four Minutes of Mickey Mouse Can Unscrew Your Day.
He's not quite there yet, but Jacobi is close to reaching the big 2-year mark, and he is starting to show the telltale signs of the "terrible twos". Specifically, I've seen fits of rage that would make the Incredible Hulk skitter off like a whipped puppy. But despite his worst tantrum, Jacobi can almost instantly be cured by an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When it's over, the 24-minutes of blissful entertainment has usually reset his rage-o-meter, and Jacobi goes back to pointing out squirrels in the backyard.
MY LESSON: Having a bad day and stomping around? Just take a little break and submerge yourself in a book, a show, or a game.
4. When $#!% Is Going Down, Just Poop Your Pants.
Seriously, just let it happen. You can't stop it. You could fight it, but it just isn't going to solve any problems long term. Jacobi understands this so much better than I do. He just gets it out of the way, and usually, he gets on with his day. I'm beginning to realize that I can deal with day-to-day problems in much the same way (unless it involves actually pooping my pants).
MY LESSON: Try to roll with the punches, and if things go wrong, just let them. Have mommy clean up later.
5. Love Your Parents.
Admittedly, this is one I didn't learn FROM Jacobi. I was reminded this BECAUSE of Jacobi, but without him, I wouldn't have been reminded, and so it's on the list. And, I'm not naive enough to think that this is a rule everyone should go by because there are some messed up parents out there. But my parents were not those kind of parents. My mom and dad have always been supportive of my sister and I. They have helped us in every way imaginable without laying massive guilt-trips on us, and I know that they would do anything they could for me, just like I would do anything for Jacobi.
MY LESSON: Remember where you came from, and be thankful for it.
Thanks Mom and Dad!