My godson turns 3 today. He is one of the funniest, smartest, most interesting kids I know. It has been an honor and a joy to be a part of his life and it happened almost by accident. I was out walking Snoopy late one night when I ran into the fabulous Miss S who was also walking her dog, well her boyfriend’s dog. We started chatting and the next thing I knew she and teeny tiny J Man were a part of my life and my heart. I have learned so much from the two of them and I thought I would share just a few of those lessons.
Be kind to yourself.
I am my own worst critic and when things do not go the way I plan I have zero patience for myself. When I first met Miss S and J Man I was working from home and had up to 10 different projects going at a time. Every so often I would run into a snag or forget something like my keys, or to mail a check. My fall back in those moments was, “Sheesh, I’m losing my mind. Get it together Cas!” After hearing me say this more times than she cared to, Miss S pointed out to me that I was being too hard on myself. What really hit home was when she said, “What would you do if J Man said that about himself? Is this a habit you want him to learn from you?” Bam! That one hit me right between the eyes. From that day on I worked to change my response when I mess up and to try to remember to treat myself with the same kindness I try to show to others.
Remember to laugh as much as possible
J Man loves to laugh and have fun but more than that he loves to make other people laugh. He developed a sense of humor pretty early on and understands the power of laughter. We have sword fights with uncooked spaghetti noodles, build block towers and knock them over, and have tickle fests until we almost pee our pants. During some of the hardest days of my life he has made me laugh until the pain was bearable and reminded me that there is joy even in the hardest moments.
Embrace the silliness of life
There is nothing like a child to remind you that being silly is awesome. J Man recently decided that a pair of toy binoculars looked like a camera and proceeded to make us all pose for picture after picture, “Say cheese ever’body”. In his world toy dinosaurs really do roar, fire engines scream, Snoopy’s tail doubles as a block to make his train whistle, and crayons can be counted and stacked for hours on end when learning numbers and colors. In J’s world, even the most mundane object has the potential for fun. This has translated to my work life where I do my best to see the silly and absurd in the most frustrating situations. And when this doesn’t work I just spin around in my chair which is oddly therapeutic.
Happy Birthday My Little Man. I love you with all my heart. Thank you so much for the gift that you are and for bringing your Mommy into my life. You are my family.