Lessons from a 2 year old

Our walk home from town this morning took about three times as long as usual. As we were walking I was watching my daughter and realised I had a lot to learn from her.

Lesson 1-Patience

At the age of 2, everything is just a little bit harder to do.

Watching her put a handful of daisies into her pocket so she could collect more took forever. She didn’t once get frustrated or give up.

One by one, very slowly and carefully the daisies were stashed away for safe keeping.

In an age where we can buy something and have it delivered the same day, google questions from our phone at super fast speeds, get meals out in an instant without even exiting the car and watch an entire season of a tv series on demand, we are so used to instant results and instant gratification that we live our lives in a rush.

Taking time over jobs and enjoying the process can make the day much more enjoyable, not to forget the results are likely to be much better quality and more appreciated.

Lesson 2-Small things

My daughter is just obsessed with birds. She used to have a budgie and would let it sit on her head and is now convinced that all birds want to sit on her head.

Today we saw a white dove and watched it for a long time. She didn’t talk, she just stood and watched for ages. Even when it was time to go, she couldn’t quite tear herself away and kept going back to watch it.

Enjoy the small things in life and every day will be a joy!

Lesson 3-Mindfulness

Puddles…lots of puddles.

Why are puddles so much fun? Is it the splashing noise or the feel of them sloshing around wellies? Or maybe it’s the shiny reflections or that lovely earthy smell or all the wonderful things you can find living in them?

If we applied the same attention to other experiences throughout the day we’d have a lot more fun and gratitude for life.

Thich Nhat Hanh suggests an orange meditation to help develop this ability to spend time in the true presence of each moment:

“Take the time to eat an orange in mindfulness. If you eat an orange in forgetfulness, caught in your anxiety and sorrow, the orange is not really there. But if you bring your mind and body together to produce true presence, you can see that the orange is a miracle. Peel the orange. Smell the fruit. See the orange blossoms in the orange, and the rain and the sun that have gone through the orange blossoms. The orange tree that has taken several months to bring this wonder to you. Put a section in your mouth, close your mouth mindfully, and with mindfulness feel the juice coming out of the orange.” 

Lesson 4-Taking a leap

My daughter likes to walk along a low wall near our home. She’s always been a climber so has fantastic balance and speeds along without a second thought.

When she reaches the end of the wall, I lift her over to the next one so she can continue her wall-running.

Today she seemed to want to jump off but was a bit nervous so I asked if she wanted me to catch her. She replied ’nuffin’ which I took to mean no thanks so she held my hand and before I knew it she’d jumped off leaving one leg behind on the wall.

She wasn’t bothered and carried on but I couldn’t help but think how big that wall must be for her.

I should definitely follow her example and take a few more fearless leaps into the unknown knowing that sometimes my ‘leg’ might get left behind too but I can just pick myself up and carry on to the next adventure!

And so I find myself grateful for these reminders today and as always in awe of this fantastic little creature I get to share my days with!

16 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Mike Powell and commented:
    I am in awe of the way that children experience the world. This morning I read a wonderful posting about some of the lessons that we can learn from a two year old, written by Nick and Kate, a couple in a “typical English village:” with their “4 wild but wonderful children.” Check out their awesome blogs tingsha.co.uk as well as carterandwild.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate, Mum sent this to me and I have just read it lying in bed with the shutters open listening to lake life. Truly a lovely lesson, and actually whilst we are all getting on, there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the wonders of life around us, we just let stuff and meaningless clutter in the way. I’m going out soon with my dog, to jump in puddles, look at the birds and maybe even jump on a wall. Thank you xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a wonderful write — loved the lessons and how sweetly you put it together. Thank you for sharing. BTW, i just had an orange and after reading the quotation from Thay, i am going to open another one — this time eat it mindfully with gratitude. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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