I am someone who does not ever want children. It’s not that I dislike kids, I just don’t want the responsibility of not screwing up any of my own. I also have pretty much the antithesis of a maternal instinct, and while I know that every parent has to learn the skills, I think mine would end up dead in a ditch somewhere while I was figuring it out.
That said, I LOVE my nephew. My sister, and therefore the aforementioned rugrat, live out of state, making it hard to see him as much as I would like. This weekend, however, was his third birthday and they were visiting Florida. It was Freaking. Awesome.
The kid has moxie. And energy. And probably will suffer permanent consequences from all the time he spent upside down being swung around by his toes because his aunt Nicole is the BEST AUNT EVER.
There’s no need to be concerned, 6 hours of being a pseudo care giver to someone who has no problem dropping his pants and showing off his winkie hasn’t changed my mind about having children. But it did show me a few things that I think were the best reminders I could ask for about how to really be happy in life. So I will share them with you my loyal readers, because let’s face it, whether you have them or not, sometimes kids are smarter than us.
Don’t worry, I won’t ever tell them that. Cool aunt is totally on the grown-ups team.
Lesson 1: It’s totally ok to be scared. And to tell people you’re scared. And to ask for help when you’re scared. That’s what the people who love and support you are here for. Jumping in the deep end makes you want to pee your pants? Ask your cool aunt to catch you. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there to make sure your head comes above water is all it takes to give you the courage to jump.
Lesson 2: Eat when you’re hungry. Drink when you’re thirsty. Stop when you’re full. Pee often. It seems so self-explanatory, but how often do we eat until we’re too full because we waited too long? For my nephew, that’s totally counterintuitive. I’m pretty sure he had a few goldfish crackers and juice every 10 minutes, but he had energy for the entire day and never once had to take a break from swimming because he was too full. Unlike auntie Nicole who might have stuffed her face with hot dogs and had a mid-afternoon food coma at some point.
Lesson 3: Looking “cool” is TOTALLY over rated. Sure, you can pimp your Spongebob Squarepants swimmy shorts like a normal kid, or you can rip them off, wear them on your head while running around naked, and have every single person who loves you laughing so hard they just might toot. Ok so, maybe as adults that’s not *exactly* acceptable, but I just love how my nephew never lets himself get in his own way. He’s a clown. An adorable clown, who loves to laugh and is willing to just be himself and be hilarious in the process. I know personally I get caught up in looking foolish or self-conscious and sometimes that stops me from doing things that I really want to. If I could just not care what others think and do it just for the fun of it, how many more things would I try?