Whether it’s the grocery store running out of their favorite cereal or Jacob from down the street proclaiming that the sidewalk is lava when clearly, it is Lake Dinosaur, rolling with life’s punches is tough for the most easygoing of four-year-olds.
My son is no exception. He recently started preschool, which I imagine is the adult equivalent of going to a brand new job where you don’t know anyone, you have to share the yellow crayons, and your boss is always asking when you last used the potty.
On the way to drop my son off for his second day, he couldn’t stop crying. Naturally, I shed some tears of my own, but after a few more snorts and sniffles he announced, “It’s OK, Mommy. I’ll just hum until the sad is gone.”
My little music-lover had found a way to cope. I am convinced that I’m more often schooled by him than he by me — here are just a few of the life lessons I’ve picked up along the way.
Hum until the sad is gone
Often we don’t even realize how much control we have over our moods. I suffer from depression, and there often isn’t any way to just hum the sad away. But when I’m doing better? I can make a conscious effort to swap out negative thoughts for healthier ones and even smile until I mean it.
The lesson: Many times in life, we need to keep on keeping on. We can make a choice to either hum and fill the world with music or fill it with our loud, frustrated complaints.
A wonky bike is still a delight
My son recently received his very first big boy bike, complete with plastic Spiderman bling and training wheels. After a few solid eight-hour days spent riding up and down the sidewalk, my husband and I finally noticed that he’d been riding at a definite tilt. Diagnosis: faulty bolt on one of the training wheels. But that kid had been riding with unbridled joy for hours before we even noticed.
The lesson: Sometimes you find yourself on a wonky, crooked bike, but you can learn to adjust and enjoy the ride.
You can do anything with the right stick
Did you know that sticks can be used to catch fish, fight bad guys, paddle boats, and summon grandmas? There are probably scads more uses for those oft-overlooked tree droppings that I’m not even aware of yet.
As adults, we get used to looking at things in the same way. We grow comfortable with the status quo and start to shy away from change. But if we stop looking for new sticks and ways to use them, how can we continue to learn and grow?
The lesson: It’s probably never going to be the perfect time to quit your job, travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, or finally take up exotic soap carving. I think it’s good to remember to keep your eyes peeled, grab the sticks that look useful and find out what you can do with them.
Kids are pretty wise. When I dropped my little guy off at school this morning, I felt a few tears welling up again. But I kissed him goodbye, took a deep breath, and hummed his favorite tune all the way home.