Life lessons from William.
1. A high five is appropriate in almost any situation.
Buying drinks at the convenient store. William walked up to the counter and triumphantly set his drink down. He looked at the cashier and said “Hola!” The cashier was ready for him, though, and said “Hola! Como estas?” William stared at him with no idea how to respond. I explained that it means “how are you” and suggested he say “muy bien.” Then the famous William smile showed up and he said to the cashier, “Thank you for helping me learn Spanish!! High five!” He high fived William and, of course, the other two requested high fives, too. Everyone was smiling when we left which can’t always be said at 8am.
2. Never forget how lucky you are.
As anyone with kids knows, keeping the house clean is a constant struggle. I was never a neat freak before, but becoming a mom has made it virtually impossible for me. I find this extremely frustrating and am obsessed with the day when we move to a bigger house and I can, theoretically, find a way to be more organized.
Anyway, the other day, William ran across some ads in the van. He asked if he could keep them and re-use them. (He’s been learning all about helping the environment at school.) I said yes, but started ranting about how they’ll just end up on the floor and how they throw everything on the floor. (I’m not particularly proud of my early morning rant, but there it is.) And, my wise son said “That’s true. The house does get trashed a lot. But, it’s not all bad, we have a family.” I then remembered how grateful I am that I have my three kids in my life and in my house, trashing it.
3. Always pay attention to details.
William is like many adults that I’ve met, at times. He speaks with great confidence while sharing incorrect information. A couple of years ago, he insisted that the principal wanted everyone to bring their guitars in a for a picture. I found this extremely unlikely, but he insisted that he had heard an announcement. It turned out that the guitar club was having its pictures taken for the yearbook. So, he was right in thinking that guitars were involved, but incorrect in thinking that he was.
This morning, after being told by William that there was going to be a contest for who could bring the most donated items in, I gathered up 6 bags of clothes. I made sure to write his name and his teacher’s name on each bag. This is a slight challenge when trying to write on a plastic bag and you live in a houseful of washable markers. It just doesn’t work. Regardless, my competitive side came out and I was gonna make sure my kid won! As we unloaded the van, William said that his teacher wanted them in her classroom. I thought this was odd since last year, items were colllected outside the school. But, as long as Willian won the contest, I would take them wherever! I had visions of William’s happy face when he won! Such a confidence building moment! As we got to the front of the school, patrols began to collect our items and randomly throw them in a bin. But, his teacher wanted them in her classroom and isn’t there a contest? They looked bewildered by my questions. They told me that yes, the teachers had bins sitting outside their classrooms, but this was the main collection area. No, there’s no contest. It would be way too hard to figure out the winner. (I had thought that part would be very challenging, too.)
So, I dropped the stuff off, said good-bye to my son who never seems to know what he’s talking about but will pretend that he does, and took our somewhat anti-climatic coupons for free Apple Dippers.
4. Take pride in your accomplishments.
As I go through the course of a day, I encounter William, in various rooms. This part is not surprising, of course, as we are in the same house. But, for William, it’s an event. I walk into the living room, Willam says “Hi Mom.” Moments later, if I wander into the kitchen, he’ll mysteriously be the too. “Hi Mom.” When I come out of the bathroom, there’s William with a “Hi Mom.” This does, in fact, drive me crazy. But, I take a deep breathe and remember how lucky I am and. ( :
After a recent round of “Hi mom’s.” William looked at me proudly and said “I said hi to you four times!” Yay for William! lol. Achievement is good!
This morning, I walked into Antwan’s room, “Hi Antwan.” The cycle continues…
With William’s life lessons firmly in my psyche, I start each new day with the intention of saying hi to people (potentially in Spanish), with some awareness of what’s reallly going on, with pride in my successes and a true sense of gratitude. Because I really am, so lucky.