I was watching HGTV’s “The Property Brothers” in the break room yesterday, and mentioned to my buddy sitting there how much I loved shows about designing homes, flipping them, remodeling them, etc. A few months back I was preparing for a garage sale and I came across some old sketch pads of mine from when I was around 11 years old. They are full of floor plans that I drew. Literally pages and pages of them. It’s funny, because when I’m bored I still love drawing floor plans and imagining the kind of home I’d like to build one day. In fact, I told my friend, according to my MBTI results, being an architect is high up on the list of jobs that “suit me.” My friend says he was born to be a tractor engineer, that he was completely obsessed with tractors as a kid. He had this mini tractor with wheels that he could pedal around his house and he actually wore the wheels right off of it he pedaled that thing around so much. He’s not a tractor engineer now, he’s a nuclear one, but he still has a box full of all kinds of tractor toys in his garage from his childhood.
Which brings me to the point – my son loves tractors too. Tractors, trucks, and fast cars. They all provoke an equally innocent gasp of joy from him and then he gushes a rapid “Mama! Mama! Look! It’s a [insert tractor, truck, or fast car]!” I sat there thinking, in the break room, about his pure and simple enjoyment of the world around him. He’s only 3, but he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he absolutely loves tractors, trucks, and fast cars – and chocolate, the Lego movie, and me, amongst other things.
How precious and beloved he is to me. The response evoked in him by the things that he loves is the response he stirs up in my heart. There are no words to describe what he means to me, and I don’t spend enough time being thankful for it. I’m always in a hurry. I have so much to do. Work, school, taking care of him, taking care of myself, trying to squeeze a social life in there somewhere. Right now though, I just want to sit and think about my boy and what a wonderful, magnificent, breathtaking, amazing, brilliant, marvelous, remarkable little human being he is. He puts my whole world in perspective. If only I could remember that on a daily basis.
In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter if I’m stuck in this town for the rest of my life. It doesn’t matter if I never get another chance at my dream job. It doesn’t matter if no one ever falls in love with me again, or I with anyone else. My son makes the “I’s” in my life less important. I can look back on the last 3 years and say he’s becoming my greatest teacher. His teaching method is so laughably uncomplicated that it makes my heart ache from loving him when I realize it. He just exists, and in the daily progression of tasks that summarize parenting, I thereby learn not to complicate life unnecessarily. He reminds me to appreciate the simple things just by watching his whole face light up when he sees a big Mack Semi on the highway, or when I tell him we can go to the park today. He brings me the most unadulterated and wholesome moments of joy and an unexpected equilibrium to my life. He is teaching me how to love just by loving me.
When my heart is full of disappointments I know I can always go back to the memory of driving down the road with him, hearing the beautiful sound of his laughter and watching him point out the window at something he loves to see. My heart will always cherish him, his smiles and his innocence.