When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity. –Rose Kennedy
This quote sums up exactly how I felt when I was pregnant with my little Charlie and when I held him in my arms for the first time. I knew that I wanted to do this motherhood thing right, that I wanted to teach him and mold him into someone great. I felt a tremendous responsibility to produce someone good for the world.
However, as we spent last week celebrating Charlie’s 5th birthday, I have been reflecting on how much Charlie has taught me. Because I spend a great deal of my time with him (every waking minute of every day), he has become quite an influence on me.
Here are a few things I have learned from Charlie over the past 5 years I have been blessed with him.
1. It’s good to be silly sometimes, or even most of the time!
2. Do not be controlled by your fears, whether they are fears of embarrassment, what others think, a monster in the closet, or a life-sized wolf. You will miss out on life’s experiences if you are held back by fear.
3. It’s okay to express your emotions and be clear about your feelings.
4. Be inquisitive. Ask questions about EVERYTHING!
5. It’s okay to do things differently, to go against the grain and break the rules sometimes. Why simply trace over the letter “P” when you can destroy the “P” in a fiery explosion?
6. The most important thing Charlie has taught me is that it’s okay to start out small. In the end, we will all end up the same, anyway!
Being Charlie’s mama has taught me much more than this. He has taught me about compassion and friendship and imagination. He has shown me how to be still and listen, and how to spend my time wisely. Most importantly, he has taught me about unconditional love and forgiveness.
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3