"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'd Rather Be With My Kids

Top ten reasons why I'd rather spend time with my kids than with most of the adults I know:

1. They're cute

I mean, come on. Do any of your adult friends look like this?

2. They appreciate the little things in life

I know very few adults who derive as much - or any - joy from rainbows, mud puddles, or caterpillars.

3. They still know how to play

Not everyone loses this ability as they get older, but so many do! I want to be around people who still see the value in an impromptu game of hide and go seek, or blowing bubbles with a straw, or putting on a Spiderman costume at 2:00 in the afternoon, just because.

4. They're REAL.

My kids are authentic, always. They don't play mind games, they don't act a certain way around certain people, they don't just tell me what I want to hear. Happy, sad, silly, frustrated.... they are wonderfully unmistakably themselves, and they express it. And as a bonus, I'm more real when I'm around them, too.

5. They always give me something new, 

When it comes to a life with kids, it's nothing if not full of surprises.  I never know what each day is going to hold, and I love that!

but at the same time,

6. They're always comfortable and familiar

I know my kids better than I know anyone on the planet.  I've been there since their very first breath.  I know every story, I remember ever wound.  They truly are my heart and my soul walking around outside my body.

7. They're great conversationalists and even better thinkers 

You know how 2 year olds constantly ask "why?"  They're not doing it to annoy you;  they're doing it because they're learning how the world works, and they're looking to you - their most trusted and loved ally - to help them figure out.  Kids are naturally open and curious and questioning, and they are not held back by the preconceived notions of so many adults.  Some of my very favorite times with my kids are in the car, discussing anything from armpits to snakes to heavy artillery.    Their perspective is always fresh, honest, and enlightening.

8. I enjoy their company

Whether I'm catching an episode of Dr G with the 14 year old, discussing music with the 10 year old, making simulated blood with the 7 year old, or playing dolls with the 3 year old... or doing something more out of the ordinary...  I'm having a good time.  I love my kids - of course - but I like them too.

9. They're funny

No one makes me laugh harder than my kids.  Period.

10. They teach me more than anyone or anything else combined 

No, not about isosceles triangles, or finding the value of 'x', but about LIFE.   They teach me the things that matter.  They teach me about love.  They teach me about living in the moment. About being honest with myself and others.  About not sweating the small stuff.  About being REAL.  My kids teach me everything I need to know about what kind of parent I want to be, and what kind of person I want to be.  

They teach me about smiling...

Even when I'm faced with the metaphorical business end of life:

And you just can't put a price tag on that.

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