Noticing the Daisies: Lessons from a Five Year Old

daisiesMy five year old, who I will call Nina, has a busy schedule. Within a calendar year, she takes dance, gymnastics, and swimming. She also plays soccer.

At five, she is fearless in trying new activities. She always gives each activity 100%, has a great time while doing them, and is determined to meet new friends. She never worries that she looks silly–she is silly at the appropriate times and is unapologetic¬†about it.

There are a bunch of other activities that she enjoys. She writes books, for example, where she asks me to staple pages together. Once, she decorated a piece of cardboard by coloring it and placing a blue ribbon on it. She then placed the cardboard on top of the pages where she wrote her story and asked me to staple it together. That work of creativity was the cover of her book.

She is also a singer, writer, and composer who creates songs that sometimes make absolutely no sense to me, but songs that are always funny. My favorite song is “Sparkly Doodie.” It’s about a Princess who ate glitter and poops sparkles. That is both clever and hilarious! (And, the tune is catchy.)

The other night when I put her to sleep, she threw what I thought was her normal before bedtime fit, where she tried everything in the Kid’s Book of Avoiding Bedtime to stay awake. This night was different, though. On this particular night, Nina did not ask for another drink of water or one more goodnight-kiss from daddy. She did not beg for the opportunity to re-brush her teeth or watch another episode of Doc McStuffins. This time, Nina argued that she had not been given a chance to write ALL day. “Mommy,” she cried. “I cannot go to bed before I write!”

Now, that was music to a writer-mama’s ears. This night, I gave in to her desires to stay up simply because she was staying up to write. After all, I, too, know how important it is to sort things out in my head through the motion of putting pen to paper.

The lessons I have learned from my 5 year old:

1. Try absolutely EVERYTHING, and have a good spirit as you do.

2. Always give 100% and have all of the fun that you can possibly have while doing it.

3. Be open to meeting new people; it makes participating in the activity even more exciting.

4. Do what makes you feel good as much as possible. It keeps a smile on your face.

5. Don’t lay your head on your pillow without haven written something for the day.

kids playing soccerWhen my husband suggested that Nina play soccer, I insisted that she wouldn’t be interested. She is a Princess and loves “Princess Things!” This child refuses to walk down the stairs in the morning for breakfast until she is has on her princess dress and tiara. Surely, she would be on the soccer field picking daisies.

I was wrong. I had a limited view of princesses, particularly my princess.

So, her first soccer game was finally here. She played well; she stayed in the game and was very focused. When we left, she noticed some flowers outside of the sports complex. “Look at the beautiful flowers mommy!” She then proceeded to pick them, never thinking that playing soccer and enjoying flowers had to be mutually exclusive activities.

The most important lesson I learned from my five year old: Doing the things that interest you most doesn’t have to be in conflict with each other when you have fallen in love with all you are doing.