20 Things My Daughter Has Taught Me About Life

Circa 2001: When Tween Girl was Baby Girl

I was in the kitchen, hustling through the motions of a morning routine that is always, always, always, without fail, hectic. Maybe, if I’m really on top of it, we’ll have two days that aren’t marked by some kind of hurry-scurry ripping and tearing through the house. But I have a bad habit of cramming too much into my evenings, which leaves me zero time to prepare for the next day’s activities and renders my mornings completely chaotic and totally unorganized.

So with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I forgot to put together an after-school snack for Girl Child to eat before I whisked her off to dance class in the evening. As I was slapping the bread and meat together and flying around the house like a madwoman, I smiled and said — out loud — “I love being a mommy.” 


If you pray, can you please send up a request to shore up my strength to get through this surly tween attitude and overemoting, the hardheadedness and the sloppy messiness — dear heavens, the messiness! Who leaves their nighttime headscarf on the kitchen counter, I ask? Inasmuch as I complain and rant and use her shenanigans as fodder for my posts, I adore my child and love the responsibility of being a mama. And really, being Skylar’s Mother (as the kids at school call me: Hi Skylar’s Mother!) gives me opportunity to learn about myself. She also teaches me things about the world and life in general: 

1. Forgiveness should be as easy as getting mad, getting some space, and getting over it.

2. There really is something new to learn every day, even if it was something you had to learn the hard way.

3. Any time is a good time to dance. Just because.

4. Cartoons are on 24 hours for a reason. They are to be enjoyed any time of the day or night. Especially Tom and Jerry and Spongebob. 

5. Think big, crazy ideas — not that there’s anything big or crazy about believing you can be a pediatrician/ballerina/hairdresser when you grow up — and defend your dream tooth and nail.

6. Laugh, even if you’re the only person laughing.

7. You should always lock the door when you go to the bathroom. If you don’t, somebody might just haul off and walk in.

8. Express how you really feel — snot, tears, and all.

9. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your look. But cutting your own bangs with safety scissors is generally not a good place to start.

10. Thunderstorms are a good reason to cuddle.

11. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Questions leads to answers, and answers mean you know more stuff.

12. If somebody doesn’t want to be your friend anymore, find a new friend.

13. Eat what you love, then run, romp, jump, and play to burn it right back off.

14.  Use your imagination, and try to put it to good causes. But if you’ve got to lie, make it as colorful as possible.

15. Cry, then take a nap. The world will instantly be better when you wake up. 

What have you learned from your children? 

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