7 Lessons From My Daughter (Guest Post)
Guest Post By: Chris Kilpatrick the owner of The Dadventurist
When we had Lucy I was obviously ecstatic. All the experience we would share and the things I was going to teach her. Then when Matilda came along it was just the same the amount of tears of joy and excitement for what was ahead. However what I couldn’t have expected is that both of my daughters pulled a neat little switch on me. Yes, I hope I have taught the girls a lot so far about the world, but it seems like, in the end, they are actually taking me to school. They are teaching me things about myself and life that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. With this in mind, I thought I would put down a few things my daughters have taught me in the last 4 years.
Crafted today, gone tomorrow
I still have books that are 10 years old, I haven’t read some for at least that long but I can’t seem to let go of them. Yet my darling daughters will spend hours coloring, drawing or crafting something and within minutes freely send it to the garbage. Lucy regularly takes a bag, fills it with her books, clothes, and toys and asks us to take it to the thrift store for “kids that don’t have any”. They seem to actively let to open up the chance for the next thing to move into their life. I am always in total admiration of this willingness to detach from things and have been inspired to cut down on the amount of needless possessions or even situations to help open space up for new opportunities.
A trip to the zoo, movie night with popcorn or a camping trip whatever it is if my girls are excited about it then they almost vibrate. It’s an amazing hum of energy that they exude in anticipation of whatever they are excited about, and because they are so excited, I’m excited. Now I even get the same excitement about telling them about something exciting. I don’t care what anyone says, finding excitement in everyday things like Lucy and Tilley do is awesome and I will do anything I can to help them stay psyched.
Laugh loud, Laugh often and most importantly laugh uncontrollably
Lucy has the kind of laugh that make’s people stop in their tracks. She is short and very petite but when she laughs it a total uncontrolled eruption of loud giggles and chuckles. She doesn’t care what people think or if anyone is around if the mood takes her she will be stretched out laughing her heart out no holds barred. The best thing is her laugh is contagious. When she is laughing at full tilt you can’t help but join her and even egg her on. It's true laughing really is the best medicine and Lucy is laughter MD.
Presence is worth more than presents
Recently I had both of the girls for three weeks solo dadding as my wife was away. They went to daycare during the day and I rearranged my work schedule to be able to look after them every afternoon, evening and weekend. We cooked, played, danced, sang, hiked, swam and so many other things. It was amazing and enlightening. After three weeks I felt more close and connected to my daughters (especial Tilley who has always been a mummy’s girl) than ever before. The amount of quality time we had spent together has changed our relationship in a profound way, more than any gift I could have spent money on. Deep down I think I already knew the idea that time is worth more than money but now I feel it as well which makes a big difference.
Dancing like there’s no tomorrow
If you ever find yourself at our door, there will be a very good chance you’re knocking or doorbell ringing will be accompanying an impromptu dance party. A daily occurrence at our house now with Lucy, Tilley and myself, of course, crazily dancing around the room to whatever new Disney song/ pop hit takes their fancy. No matter how our days have been or what kind of mood we are in they have taught me that there’s nothing that brings out fun and laughter as much as dancing like no one cares.
Never pass up the chance to kid out
Whether it’s using the curb as a balance beam, a colander as a hat or sitting on a skateboard shooting down the driveway. I now do my best never to pass up the chance to be a kid with my daughters. Turning off my brain to adult things and just enjoying the moment and experiencing the ‘right now’ exactly like they do. Kidding out is something I suggest to everyone, some of my best memories with my girls so far a result of it.
Just let it all out
Both my girls feel their emotions like champions, fully and sometimes in surround sound. They will get sad, cry abundantly for 5 minutes, and then be over it (mostly). They will feel frustrated or angry, and take some alone time, or shout for 5 minutes and then they are back again. Now Lucy is starting to be able to label the emotions she is feeling and link it with why she is feeling that way every day she is teaching me lessons about dealing with my emotions. By helping her, and soon Tilley, to label their emotions and encouraging them to feel them in their entirety, in turn, they are teaching me to do the same. To not try and beat down frustration or anger or sadness (I pick these as examples because we rarely beat down happiness) but rather take a minute to feel them and let them pass.
So after 4-years, these are just some of the lessons that Lucy and Tilley have taught me and the way things are going they aren’t finished yet (and that's fine with me). The fact that I’m learning from them as much or even more than they are learning from me gets me even more excited for the years to come.