3 Things My Daughter Has Taught Me

Friday, August 18, 2017

It seems like ancient history that my daughter was walking around with nothing but a diaper and speaking some mutilated form of English that babies use - now that she's 18, it's hard to remember her any way but an adult. Let's not put too much weight on the word adult there, since 18 in Alberta really only gives you the right to drink and vote. They are still children for the most part.

There are so many things we can learn from our children if we are paying enough attention. Spending a little more time watching them discover and a little less time trying to raise the perfect child can be eye opening and teach us so much. I'm guilty of doing just those things as a parent, but we can always start doing better with each new day. 

After a little reminiscing and a few reminders from some friends, here's 3 things I've learned from my daughter.

Leave the nonsense behind!  I recall dreading Jr High to start for my daughter because of all the drama that goes along with teenage girls. They can be mean, catty, vindictive, and all around awful little humans. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with how my daughter was able to deal with all of that. When she came home, she didn't talk about or dwell on any of the negative nonsense that happened at school that day. She just dropped it and focussed on whatever made her happy. It was a conscious decision so she could be happy - and something we should all apply in our lives. Work, school, sports, dates - if the negativity can be left behind, even for the evening - DO IT.

Do not hold a grudge! This one is kind of relates to the last one. If you can let the little stuff go, you can also let the big stuff go. Holding grudges can be such a waste of time and energy. I would watch this kid - her friend would pick a fight and swear to never talk to her again. 2 weeks later they are friends again. When I'd ask her why she bothers to be friends again, she'd say "because we all have bad days but we can still be friends and move on". Even when she didn't allow people back in her life, she didn't hang onto any anger or resentment. She just let it go. What an amazing quality to have.

Laugh. OFTEN. Truth be told, I don't know if she got this from me or if I got it from her. But the amount of laughter - unbridled, belly aching, tears flowing, hysterical laughter that's been shared with my daughter is immeasurable. It's not just with me that she laughs. It's with everyone. She finds humor in everything. But she also shares that joy too. Hard to keep a grouchy demeanor or scowly face when someone is breaking down in fits of laughter in front of you. To laugh, find joy, share joy, and happiness is a gift. It's a gift we can give to ourselves and can share with others.  My daughter has shown me that time and again.