About once a month, I’m lucky enough to spend the morning with a dear friend’s 2 year-old son while she’s at work. It’s always a bitter-sweet time. Of course, I flash back to the days my girls were that age. I can recall their little voices and the smallness of their hands in mine. And, like any mom on the cusp of the empty nest years, I question where the years have gone. Then, I flash forward to the future and think of grandchildren. (Which 1 of my 2 daughters has said will happen, but I’m OK if those days don’t come for another 10+ years. :)) I think of my parents who changed from being my mom and dad into C & A’s Grandma and Grandpa Toys, so named because they always bought the toys I deemed too loud or too expensive. They liked to spoil the girls; their days of worrying about overindulgence were long past. I think of my mom who, in her “post-parenting wisdom”, encouraged me to watch more and correct less.
I love being a mom. And, I know I’m going to love being a grandma, spending time with my friend’s toddler yesterday assured me of that. Like my mom had with my girls when they were small, I watched him yesterday; just watched. He’s an absolutely delightful little boy. He’s cheerful, agreeable, very bright, and very confident. Watching children is different from “parenting” because you’re not on the look out for the life lessons you can teach them; you’re open to the lessons they can teach you. Yesterday, a toddler taught me some mighty important lessons and now I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a 2 year-old.
When you are 2, you don’t yet subscribe to the limitations others try to place upon you. You trust your intuition, even when others don’t agree.
If a 2 year-old isn’t supposed to use their imagination, why give them all these cool tools?
When you are 2, you color outside the lines, and it’s OK to mix the Play-Doh colors. You don’t let fear stifle your creativity.
Play-Doh really is more fun when you mix the colors. Try it–it’s liberating! You can always buy more. 2 year-olds know that. Grown-ups forget.
When you are 2, you haven’t yet heard “You’re wrong” often enough to believe it–even if you really are wrong and especially when you know you’re really right. You know that obedience and conformity aren’t the same thing, even though you don’t know what the big words mean. When you are 2, you don’t care if someone else calls this a cat; if it looks like a cow to you, you “moooo” at it when it walks by and call it a cow.
Truth is, he’s big enough to be called a cow and he did come from a dairy farm. We’ve always joked that “Daddy must have been one of the cows.” So, who’s to say the 2 year-old is wrong?
And, if this looks like an alligator, that’s what you call it. It was the silly grown-up in the room (me) that kept calling it a blue-tongue skink.
It’s a gator–named Chocolate. When you are 2, you don’t name a gator Chocolate; you name it Gator. Makes sense, but she was named by a teen who loves chocolate, not a 2 year-old.
When you are 2, you don’t subscribe to society’s rules about fashion. If it feels good, you wear it. So what if it doesn’t match?
Just because you have ballet slippers to match the ballerina outfit doesn’t mean you have to wear them. Who wants to be all “matchy-matchy” anyway?
When you are 2, the world is replete with possibility. Your imagination hasn’t been limited by rules, or can’ts, or won’t works. You look into the box of Duplo bricks and see endless possibilities.
The birthplace of possibility–and architects, and engineers, and maybe a paleontologist.
Because when you are 2, train rides are more fun when a skateboard ramp is included in the price of the ticket.
I, for one, think extreme train rides have real market potential.
Most of all, when I grow up, I want to be a 2 year-old because you aren’t afraid to follow your heart and take the road less traveled. And, you are never afraid to blaze a new one for yourself.
Some may avoid the un-shoveled path, but when you are 2 you boldly go where no one has gone before.
It took some time, but I finally figured it out. When I grow up, I’m gonna be a 2 year-old. The world is still fresh and new, unencumbered by rules and limitations. Life is exciting for a 2 year-old. They explore and discover. And, they smile. A lot. When you are a 2, you really know how to live, and that sounds pretty good to me.
Who do you want to be when you grow up?