Monday, January 30, 2012

What my kids teach me

I've never considered myself to be all that learned, especially in the ways of the world. I'm kind of glad for that, now that I have children. I think, during the moments when I am open to them, it enables me to learn all sorts of amazing and interesting things from these little people.

1. Patience - Anyone who has a two-year-old (or many in succession) has realized the importance of learning this early. Unfortunately, I am still a work in progress but it is more clear to me each time I need a refresher course. Thankfully these four never fail to provide an opportunity.

2. Vocabulary - Today's phrase is "sandal gap toe". I know, I had no idea either. Well, in case it comes up the next time you're on Jeopardy!, it's an extended gap between a person's big toe and first toe (like where the flip flop thing goes) and it's a "soft marker" for Down Syndrome. If nothing else, this pregnancy will make me even more fascinating at parties!

3. Acceptance and Unconditional Love - Since finding out about #2, I felt it might be time to introduce the idea of a baby with Downs to the two oldest kids. I said "the baby may look or act differently" instead of saying Down Syndrome so my 4-year-old son said, "oh, like Peter's hand!" (A classmate has a deformed hand that they spoke about in class a few weeks ago, to clear up any curiosity or confusion). "Well, that's OK, I will love my brother or sister just as much and if anyone makes fun of him/her I'll say 'robber, get out of my house'!" Not sure what the last part means but it sounded very endearing - like a good big brother defending his younger sibling. My 6-year-old said, "Of course we'll love the baby just as much, every life is a gift from God".  I am pleased that some of the things we talk about seem to be getting through. I am humbled that it is so simple for little people to see it so clearly. I am shamed by them for my lack of trust and faith.

4. The Importance of Brothers and Sisters - Being the last of five, I already knew this at some level. Still, I cherish those moments when I get to "peek" at some or all of them huddled together doing something. The whispering among them is just beginning and although it's intimidating sometimes (there are more of them than me!) it's still so wonderful to see them sharing things and working together. Even when they're demonstrating the worst that sibling behavior has to offer, I get a bit nostalgic. I know that the bonds I am watching form will last their entire lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment