Embrace Life and Wear The Cute Boots: Pandemic Lessons from a 4-Year-Old

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sparkly bootsThere is no denying life is TOUGH right now, mamas. Some days the simplest tasks seem like monumental challenges, and the temptation to hide under the covers for the day is huge. There are daily invitations to Grumpy Town, but we have to put on that “mommy smile” and do the best we can for those we love.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve realized I’m living with someone who doesn’t seem to consider any other option than embracing what the day gives her, and living her best life. Let me introduce you to my daughter, Delaney. She turned four at the end of December, and she rules the world–or at least her world–every single day from the toes of her sparkly boots to the top of her messy bun. There’s no other way for her to live than to just grab the bull by the horns and ride that bucking beast as if that’s what she was always meant to do.

Watching her handle all that life has thrown at her has prompted me to actually start taking notes. I have a KeepNote on my phone going that I add to each time I see her make a choice that I know I could learn from; and now I’d like to share that list with you. Here, in no particular order, are 10 lessons my daughter has taught me during the pandemic that help me be better, live better, and leave those invitations to Grumpy Town behind. Maybe a few will help you, too. 

  1. Sometimes you just need to run it out. Feeling an overwhelming amount of emotions all at once? Whether they are positive or negative, they can feel like too much sometimes, so why not just “run” them out? Take a brisk walk outside, sprint down the hallway, do some jumping jacks or squats, or run in place. Find a healthy movement to get that energy out until things seem manageable again. 
  2. Never underestimate the power of a good couch cuddle. Slowing down and just enjoying being in the space of someone you love can be all you need to re-center and start anew when you are feeling off your game. Who knows? The cuddle might be so relaxing it turns into a short nap. 
  3. Music is powerfully moving, and sometimes you can’t help but sing along. What if you don’t know the words? No worries! As long as you are singing with confidence and conviction, no one is going to interrupt! So if it makes your heart happy, just keeping doing you.
  4. Sass on its own can be effective, but when combined with a hip-pop, it is unstoppable. 
  5. Never be ashamed of your dance moves. Let the music move you and embrace the moment. You’ll feel freer than you have in a long time. Combine this with #3 above and you’ll reach a new level of enlightenment. 
  6. The right piece of candy can be a total and complete mood-changer. You might feel on the verge of tears one moment, and after a sweet treat, you are ready to smile and giggle again. Don’t overthink the candy, either. Just take what sounds good at the moment and enjoy. 
  7. Sometimes you just need to take time for yourself and go read in a quiet place. The fact my daughter figured this out on her own without guidance still amazes me. It took me far too long to realize the importance of some quiet me-time. 
  8. Wear the cute boots. They might not always match the weather, but they aren’t going to fit or last forever, either. If they make you smile or feel confident, then wear them. Want to pair a tiara with the boots? Go for it. You might start a new fashion trend. 
  9. Coloring is most definitely therapy. We all need to slow down and make time for creative therapy. 
  10. Never back down from the big boys. Don’t let them boss you around. Stand up for yourself and tell them what you feel and what you want, rather than backing down. They’ll respect you more and avoid sparking that side of you in the future. I’ve seen her put her dad, brother, grandpa, neighbors, and brother’s friends in their places, and it’s a marvel. I don’t want her to ever lose that strength and confidence.

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