People need people and friends need friends
And we all need love for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or on worldly fame,
But just in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers-
For only the knowledge that we’re understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life’s greatest need
When we “lock up our hearts” and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind
Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware
That life’s completeness and richness depends
On the things we share with our loved ones
-Helen Steiner Rice
My nephew, Jethro, was born October 2016. Yes, he is actually four months old now, drooling everywhere, and smiling constantly! (My sister and I were just talking about when we can take a few four month pictures this week.) Life gets busy and babies grow quickly and here I am sharing three month photos a month late, but that’s okay.
Have you ever observed a child and for just a moment, longed to go back to a simpler time of life? We can learn a lot from children. When Jethro was born he changed all our lives forever and over the past few months, his presence has been a blessing and a reminder.
Every day is brand new.
Babies don’t have the reference point of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They live in the current moment. As we grow, we begin to understand how time works and moves from day to day, but there is an element of this “living in the moment” attitude we can benefit from remembering. How many times do we wake up in the morning only to wish we could go back to sleep? Or, when we lay down at night, how often do we think back on the day that’s passed regretting something or realizing a missed opportunity? We must learn from our mistakes but also recognize that every time the sun rises and sets, the day following is brand new.
Live in the present as much as possible and soak in every moment to its full capacity. We must learn from the past and set goals for the future, but recognize how each moment of the present holds with it the power to change everything–our present choices can redeem our past and lead us closer to our goals. Although babies don’t understand this, their simplicity of mind and honesty of heart remind us to take a step back from our worries and stresses, hold their sweet little heads close, and savor the present moment.
“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.” -L.M. Montgomery
Take care of yourself.
When we’re first born, we must rely on others to give us adequate nutrition in what we eat and help us grow. When babies are tired, they sleep. When they’re hungry, they let you know so they can eat.
This lesson should be common sense, but how many of us are sleep deprived? How many of us are overweight? Sick? When our physical health suffers or isn’t at its best, everything else is more difficult. And I’m not talking about being the next American Ninja Warrior. I’m talking about doing our best to get adequate rest, prevent chronic health disease, give ourselves more energy, and develop a strong immune system. It doesn’t take much, but it does take self discipline and control in a world where we’re surrounded by indulgence and immediate gratification.
“Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.” –Astrid Alauda
Find joy in little things and never stop learning.
This point is a bit more straight forward, but it’s a highly needed reminder. Jethro smiles and laughs just because he is smiled at. When was the last time you genuinely smiled and found joy simply because someone else smiled at you? We need to remember that a smile can change someone’s entire day.
Also, never neglect the positive effect of taking a moment to breathe. Babies smile and laugh at silly faces, funny noises, and other non-sensical things. We need to remember to take the time to rejuvenate ourselves with what makes us laugh and “feeds our soul.”
Just as our lives revolve around relationships, from the beginning we must start to learn and grow. Learning new things keeps our brain active and increases our creativity and imagination. Children are constantly curious as they discover what life is all about, but that curiosity never has to stop. There is always something new we can learn.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Life is all about relationships.
We come into this world completely dependent upon others. Our only means of communication are our cries and tears. As my mom always said, every cry happens for a reason, and I’ve seen that first-hand now with my nephew. Whenever he cries he’s trying to tell us something and when the need is met, the crying stops. Whether it’s a dirty diaper, hunger, or simply the need for comfort, there’s always a reason. (Babies don’t just cry to be annoying!)
As we grow into adulthood, does this really change all that much? We learn how to feed ourselves, go to the bathroom on our own, and do other base-level tasks, but what about our need for comfort? Think about it–we are constantly searching for connections.
Our lives revolve around our relationship with others, which in turn effects our community, environments, work, home, etc. We have a relationship with the world around us, with nature. We all have a relationship with God, choosing whether or not we recognize it exists. When these relationships are imbalanced or threatened, it causes stress, heartache, drama, and so much more; like a child crying out for help. But, when these relationships are put first, we thrive.
Babies don’t have a choice but to depend on others, but we do. We weren’t meant to go through life completely alone. It’s ok to ask for help when we need it and when others reach out to us, realize they need help too.