Lesson No 1 – You are never too old to learn, nor too young to teach
I’m getting old – old to be a mother to a two and a half year old anyway! Had I given birth to him, aged 41.5, it would have been a geriatric pregnancy (don’t you just love that term!) and something of a miracle (considering our infertility). Adopting him was miraculous on this day two years ago.
My younger self would have smugly thought I’d have learned all the lessons available in parenting by now (my much younger self would have thought I’d learned all the lessons available in life by now!). But of course I’m still learning – and Little Yang is a great teacher.
Like his big sister, waiting for him has taught me patience, although that’s a lesson in progress that requires constant practice.
Miss Yin tries my patience in ways that a nine year old with a developing ATTITUDE can. Sadly I see in her the start of the slow and steady transformation from child-like innocence to the worried mindset we cultivate as we grow into adults, and I wish I could keep her safe and happy in the garden of childhood. But I can’t.
I’ll save the lessons Miss Yin teaches me and the blessings she’s brought to our life for another post.
This one is reserved to reflect on the many blessings of having Little Yang in our life, even though he tries my patience as only two year olds and their tantrums can.
But I believe the littlest ones in our lives have the potential to teach us the most to help us re-learn what we’ve forgotten. They are so much closer to our ‘essential nature’ than we adults have evolved.
Lesson No 2 – The time for action is now
For Little Yang, a boy and an Ox in the Chinese Horoscope, determined and stubborn action seems to be the default setting. It starts (very) early in the morning, when he wakes and is immediately ready to attack the day head-on (that has involved head-butting me as he jumps all over us in bed in order to get us up). Some days he’s a bright burst of morning sunshine in full-force playful mode. Other mornings he whines with just as determined effort and intensity. There is NO sleeping in.
Of course being as old as I am, the constant early mornings are tiring. Miss Yin almost always slept much later as a baby and toddler. We’d hear her wake and happily amuse herself for a while, rather than barrelling full bore into our room. Then when she came in for cuddles we’d ease gently into the day, rather than being compelled to get up.
“Uppy Mum”, “Uppy Dad”, “Uppy Mum”, “Uppy Dad” has been the resolute refrain from Little Yang followed by an “Outty Dad”, “Outty Mum” with a persistent point to outside our room where he is desperate to go to play, eat breakfast and generally demand attention for rest of his waking day. He is both stubborn and forceful.
So I’m up, and I get at an extra hour to enjoy thanks to Little Yang. I get that precious time to spend with him, to do other things if he’s happy to play by himself, to watch him play, to talk to my husband and just to see the best part of the day through the magical lens of innocence Little Yang holds up for me. He grows up so quickly and reminds us that time is precious, not to be wasted, especially since we missed the first eight months of his life. (It’s pretty precious too when Mr Yang lets me sneak an extra half an hour in bed).
Lesson No 3 – The time to just BE is now
As much as the attention span of a two year old is short, the attention can be absolute. Even as I welcome the development of Little Yang’s reasoning skills (especially in relation to negotiating what he wants), most of his mind is not on problem-solving the future, but immersed fully in the magic of the present.
I swell with pride that he is smart when he works something out, but marvel at how smart he is (along with all little people) in just BEING, in not letting thoughts distract him from the moment, in comprehending and understanding something new with joy (usually) and without judgement (barring the labels of hot and cold he still likes to apply to so many things).
It is crazy how we unlearn how to BE as we get older, how we lose our natural intelligence and replace it with stuff out of books (or off the internet) or worse still, the negative stuff our minds make us believe. I’m re-learning just BEING when I follow Little Yang’s example. (Unfortunately he can still just BE in a wet and even a pooey nappy (diaper) for a while, without getting grossed out, so toilet training is still a lesson being learned).
I’m learning more about myself, and how to be a better parent. Sometime between when Miss Yin was a little older than Little Yang is now, and when he came along, I lost my way a bit, stopped appreciating the joy quiet so much. I guess as Miss Yin needed me less, I needed more. More is largely Little Yang, but other things too (like this blog). A second child, particularly when there’s a significant gap between siblings, rekindles the magic, without so much of the stress of first-time parenting.
I’m getting a large dose of Yang in my life, which I needed (although not so much at 4.45am each morning). In some ways our two kids balance each other out as girls and boys do (although the fighting would suggest more as opposites than complements).
I wonder at the world even more (or anew). I wonder at Little Yang’s story for the first eight months of his life. I still marvel at adopting a healthy baby boy from China. He is no more or less a miracle than Miss Yin is in our lives, but he certainly was more of a surprise. He is a delight (well most of the time).
So thank you Universe for sorrow and joy, loss and gain, for the magic of transformation, for Miss Yin and mostly, on this day, for Little Yang.
Subscribe to our newsletter