There's no secret that I adore my niece Elena and love being an Aunt. It is the best 'job' in the world; all of the fun and love, while getting a full nights sleep and not having to pay for their future education!
My Wednesday nights consist of following this two year old around the house, dancing to music that comes from stuffed animated toys and pretending I understand her ability to talk in fluent Klingon (because truly, what IS the babbling language of a toddler?).
The other day she climbed up onto her parents cozy, pillow filled King size bed and decided that it was a good idea to hop up and down. I mean why not? The mattress allows for a great bounce and there is nothing like the feeling of wind in the hair! But being the ever attentive Aunt that I am, I saw this situation in a very different light and my mama bear instinct took over as I envisioned her launching herself off the bed and her parents calling the police to report my neglect! So I quickly weighed my options:
- talk calmly to her and explain the dangers of not sitting lady like on a bed.
- tackle her head on!
- join in on the fun ;-)
- give her a good quick shove so she would fall safely into the pillows.
Yup, the glee-filled muchkin got herself a good shove that landed her on a soft mound of pillows. But what followed the fall was her laughter and joy hitting a new height; in my mind I was saving a child from grave danger, and to her, she had an adventure that was more fun than the one she was currently on! I accidentally created a game. She continued to stand-up and look at me with a flirtatious stare that said, "go on, push me again, I dare you". No matter how she landed or how many times I pushed, she laughed and got up each time with infectious joy. She even got to the point that she enjoyed falling so much that she would stand, and just fall backwards on her own.
This cheeky monkey had discovered that there is no fear in falling!
This Aunt was struck by the fact that a two year old had already learned how to deal with fear and uncertainty better than most adults I knew. And, she kept coming back for more!
What I learned from the wise Elena that day...
- just because I want one thing and get another does not mean I didn't get exactly what I needed.
- adventures are more fun when you keep an open mind.
- just keep getting yourself back up!
- just because I have been pushed off course does not mean I'm not going in the right direction.
- never underestimate how a good push can save me from unknown craziness.
- there can be true joy in a fall.
We are nine days into a new year, and no amount of planning or organizing on my part can guarantee where it will take me. I am going to approach this year with the same vim, vigor and heart as my niece does.
Bring on the pushes, new adventure and surprising JOYS 2018!