I’m grateful to be having one of the most perfect weeks ever on beach vacation with my two-year-old grandson. Not going to say he’s the best boy in the world (although just between you and me, he is) because, let’s face it, everyone loves their own best. BUT… he is pretty awesome and I can prove it. Here are five things I learned from him this week.
1. CRY IF YOU MUST. It’s okay to cry over spilled milk. The old adage is just wrong. If your milk spills, feel free to let the tears flow with it. No you can’t put the milk back into the cup, which is what the adage meant to teach. You can, however, make yourself feel better about the mistake you made and shouldn’t we all be able to do that — to make a mistake, deal with it, cry about it, and then be done with it forever?
2. I’M SORRY ARE TWO OF THE MOST POWERFUL WORDS. Admit your mistakes readily. If you do accidentally take a green crayon and color on the walls and furniture in your room while you’re supposed to be napping on the big boy bed which affords you the freedom a crib denied you, just say you did it when anyone like your grandmother says, “Did you do this?” Admit your grievous error and look up with adoration and a touch of remorse in your eyes and dimples in your cheeks (if you got ’em, flaunt ’em) and loudly announce. “Yes. I draw with green crayon on the furniture and on the walls, Grammy. I sorry.” When you err and admit it openly, people are often quick to forgive.
3. SHOW YOUR JOY FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE. You can revel in the waves coming toward you over and over and over again. You can love them and enjoy them every time as if you are seeing each one for the first time ever. And when you do love something that much, you really should scream with delight. Unbridled joy from the most natural of phenomena is under appreciated among grownups. When was the last time you simply screamed with delight? (keeping in mind this post is rated G.)
4. The only thing that matters is RIGHT NOW. Only concern yourself with what’s in your personal space — the things you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell. The rest of the world can be ignored in this moment. The two-year-old in two inches of warm ocean water doesn’t fear the shark attacks making the news. He feels the rush of the warm water and the sand between his toes. He doesn’t watch the news while on vacation. The only thing that’s pertinent to his life is what he’s experiencing RIGHT NOW. So if RIGHT NOW is good, all’s right with the world. Life is good. He’s not thinking about the next minute or tomorrow’s weather or even what’s going to happen five minutes from now. He’s the most zen being ever and in that regard he’s a genius compared to the rest of us.
5. MAKING FRIENDS IS EASY. Strangers are really just people you haven’t yet gone up to waving and yelling, “Hi friends.” If you approach a stranger with a smile, a outstretched hand of greeting, and a kind salutation, you can have a new friend in 60 seconds.