Toddlers are a lot of work, but they are definitely worth it. This child has changed my life. I would have never dreamt a 3 year old held the capability to change my heart in such a beautiful way. I would be lying if I said it was always easy to be patient and gracious with this child, but it has always been a joy to love her. She has challenged me, shown me things I need to work on, opened my eyes to things I need to see, and brought our family together in an incredibly unexpected way. I think toddlers know what's up and can teach all of us "adults" a thing or two. I hate really long intros to blogs, so why don't we just jump right in! (Also, I'm going to apologize in advance for all the grammatical errors found within this blog. Grammar is an ongoing struggle for me.)
#1. Unconditional Love
Toddlers love well. One minute they will be crying because you took their favorite toy away and the next they are cuddling up to you on the couch. Toddlers don't keep track of the rights and wrongs you make. They have no check lists of what they need you to be in order to love you. They love you because you are exactly you. Toddlers see you at your worst and at your best, but they are constantly responding in love. Adults, we need to respond in love more. We need to look at those around us and see their faults, but love them despite of them.
There's never any guessing to what a toddler is thinking. They speak their minds freely. The beautiful part of this "toddler truth" is the intentions of their hearts. They speak out of a loving, caring, and curious heart. They see things for how they are and can't help but be expressive of that. I was shopping with Trinity one day and I asked her what she thought of something I was interesting in buying, her response, "I don't like it, it looks funny." After my first initial response of shock and laughter I couldn't help but appreciate her honest remark. She didn't respond in that particular way because she wanted me to take it personally. She responded in truth, because that's exactly what she thought. There were never any bad intentions behind the statement. Adults, let's start speaking our mind. This world has taken away too much of our identity, don't let it tell you how to think and speak as well. You have been created with a beautiful mind that has the ability to form your own opinions. But, before you speak check the intention of your heart and make sure you are speaking out of truth and love for those around you.
There's very rarely a dull moment with a toddler. This is one of my favorite things about Trinity! She is always looking for a way to bump up the excitement of the normal average day. She hasn't lost her sense of abandonment to the busyness of modern day society like us "adults". There's always time for her to do something new and exciting! This world isn't a trap or cage for her, it's a place of adventure and opportunities. I like to think this is the way God intended the world to be, one big adventure. Adults, we need to take some time to get out and do something new. Spark our interest. Get us out of our comfort zone. HAVE SOME FUN!
Toddlers rule at imagination! The things they think of in those small heads of theirs is incredible. They are graciously in this position of life where they are allowed to dream freely, and they take advantage of this time. Toddlers dream big. I mean really BIG. They aren't afraid of what might stop them from fulfilling their dreams, they just dream of what they desire to experience in this life. Dreaming big is normal for them. I don't know where this has changed for some of you adults, but WAKE UP AND DREAM! We don't serve a small God who has set strict guidelines of what we can and cannot dream. Our God is an infinite and powerful God, he wants you to dream big because he can help make it happen. I hope trinity never loses her ability to dream big and I hope us "adults" wake up and begin to dream again.
Toddlers don't care who their friends are. If they are having fun with someone, boy or girl, they declare them as their friend. I really wish adults were more like toddlers in this sense. If you are enjoying someone's company, let them know and keep hanging out with them! You learn a lot from others. Plain and simple.
Nothing gets past a toddler. Trinity will remember anything and everything you say. If you promise her that you will do something, you better follow through. Toddlers have this incredible, and often annoying, ability to remember every word that comes out of your mouth when promising them something. Although this is irritating at times, it challenges me to be a better human. She keeps me accountable. She doesn't let me slack. I don't think letting people get off the hook is really ever beneficial. Adults, keep each other accountable. Let's step up to our potential and back up one another. It's time to push those closest to us to be the best they can be because that's what we are called to.
Toddlers have a hard time hiding their emotions. I LOVE THIS! Why do we, adults, feel the need to always be strong or brave? YOU ARE A HUMAN AND HUMANS HAVE EMOTIONS! Be expressive. Tears. Tears, are a beautiful thing. Yet, most of us (including myself) see tears as a sign of weakness. Slowly this viewpoint is changing for me. Tears are a sign of humbleness and vulnerability. Being humble and vulnerable is stunning in the midst of this very prideful, self-consumed, and guarded world. Adults, please be expressive, it's freeing.
#8. Cry Babies
This point goes along with #7. Toddlers are famous for their tantrums. When something is wrong, they have no problem letting you know exactly how they feel. One day in particular Trinity was throwing one of her famous tantrums at an extremely inconvenient time. Something big was wrong and she knew it was wrong because she knew what it felt and looked like when it was right. For some reason, this particular day I looked at her and didn't just see a toddler throwing a hissy fit, but a toddler who wanted the world to know something was not right. I think Christians need to throw tantrums over sin. Not only that, but act and respond to our sin, repent. We need to let those who are sinning know that it's not okay, they are meant for more. We know right from wrong and when someone deliberately chooses wrong over right it's damaging to them and those around them. I'm not saying you have to bawl, slam your hands and feet on the floor, while rolling back and forth, but don't let it just go by without notice. It's time to let people know they were created for more and to be open for people to make the same remarks towards ourselves. Understanding the problem helps to know how to take steps to resolve that problem. Be open to constructive criticism, it's beneficial.
Trinity has taught me why Jesus spoke so fondly of children. Trinity is one of the best role models I have ever had. I hope you all have a Trinity in your life.