Crosby, Stills and Nash famously wrote the classic song, “Teach Your Children Well” and while I believe this to be true, there are certainly some things that as parents, we can learn back from our kids.
Here are a few of the life-lessons that Nicnac has taught me in the 9 years he’s been around.
1. To be quick to forgive. No matter the situation, whether it’s me or it’s you at fault, you are always so quick to give me a hug, make a joke or just be yourself that the incident is quickly forgiven and forgotten.
2. I have places in my heart I didn’t know were there. You showed me that I could love entirely unconditionally and what it feels like to know that I would die for another human being.
3. You taught me that everyone doesn’t share the same idea of a “good time” and that being a bit of an introvert isn’t necessarily a bad thing…it just is.
You taught me that my children don’t have to have the same views on life that I do, but they have the right to discuss them openly with me.
4. Different doesn’t need fixing just because it’s different. From this lesson I’ve learned that other people have their own way of responding to the world. When I allow myself to be open-minded and respectful there is much I can learn from their ways. I can even change my way of doing things if someone else’s works better.
5. You taught me to fight for what my children need and not to care about what people think of me. You taught me that marching to a different drummer is not a bad thing and that more people would be happier if they listened more closely to the band in their head. You’ve taught me to be more intuitive about all my children and their different needs and you also taught me to look back and remember myself at a given age so that I would know how you are feeling and could give you the love and respect I so desperately craved at that age.
6. Humility. Parenting continually humbles me when I realise that I don’t always have the solution, nor do I know how to fix everything. Even a simple toaster comes with an in-depth instruction manual – even if the translation from Korean to English is laughable at best – but we didn’t get one when we had you. I often feel like I’m winging it and just hoping for the best. I am not God. It’s a tough one to swallow, but I’m working on it.
7. I’ve learned from you that everyone deserves respect as do their time and their endeavours. From this I’ve learned that just because I’ve got something I want done now doesn’t mean that my desires are a top priority for everyone else. And so I’ve learned patience from this one too.
8. You have taught me that listening is a skill worth developing. From this I’ve learned that most words are superficial. When you want people to take you seriously they’re more likely to do so when you listen more and talk less. And when you do speak you should always come from a caring place.
9. Fun can be had in pretty much any situation. You just bring your imagination and your sense of play. From this I’ve learned you don’t need a reason to tweak the ordinary into the extraordinary or the outlandish. Weird is it’s own reward. If it amuses you and brings a smile, that’s reason enough. So why not?
10. Being up your father has taught me that many of the childhood dreams I thought I had given up are still inside me. Inasmuch as they might be good, I’m still trying to pass them on to my children; insofar as I might try to live out some of them through my children, I try hard to resist.
11. Lastly, you have helped me realise that being a dad, YOUR dad, is truly an amazing honour, privilege and joy. Like the best ever. Thank you so much Nicnac, I am eternally grateful for what you have taught me and I unconditionally love you SO very much for every single day of the rest of my life.
(Picture courtesy Kei Acedera)