The View From Two

by Stefani on 13-August-2007

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My littlest boy, Ryder, is 2 1/2 going on 14. He honestly believes with all his heart and soul that he is as big as everybody else, and can do what everyone else can do. He speaks in a gruff, no nonsense voice. He will tell you where to go and what for, even if he doesn’t know you from Scooby Doo. He believes, fully, that he has something to say that needs hearing.

Often, he really does.

Ryder never ceases to amaze me with his uncannily observant take on the world around him. Truth be told, I think we could all learn a thing or two from being two.

My little guy’s most recent words of wisdom came at the pool. He walked right up to a 5ish year-old girl, whom he’d never met, and said, “Hey, what tricks do you know?”

Now, I ask you, can you think of a better way to break the ice?

He cuts right to the heart of the matter, doesn’t he? Not, “where do you go to school,” or “what’s your stance on the war in Iraq,” or even, “what’s your name?” Just a simple, “What do you know that’s worth sharing? How can I learn from you?”

I have been thinking on that for days now.

In a year when I have learned so much about what it means to be a friend, I think he’s got it right. I only hope that I can help my boy, and his brothers, hang on to this kind of simplicity.

Come into relationship open to learning from people, be eager to listen, and you will walk away wiser.

Why do I sometimes think that my children are teaching me far more than I could ever teach them?

Randi August 13, 2007 at 7:41 pm

I love this post! My kids are my teachers also–thank goodness for them!

Sarah Jackson August 13, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Because they are! Kids are amazing that way with their honesty and insightfulness that’s unaffected by social mores that they haven’t learned yet. It’s something we should all work harder to preserve and it’s wonderful that you recognize it for the gift that it is.

Anne August 13, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Children are the true teachers. He looks so sweet in that photo!

Ellie August 14, 2007 at 1:40 am

That photo shows it all – that knowing look, with a cheeky little half smile. I feel so priveleged to be able to see the world from my son’s viewpoint – if only I would stop and take more notice with him. Instead of assuming I know more than him. Adults complicate stuff – we all just do really want to know “what tricks do you know”. I think 2 1/2 is an excellent age, between baby and adult – my little one will be 3 in a few months.

Ellie August 14, 2007 at 2:31 am

PS – that stairway is so beautiful. It looks family-loved :: sliding down, racing down, sitting on. Would love to see more of your home, if you want to share.

Eren August 14, 2007 at 4:38 am

OK Stefani, you’ve got me all teary now. Ryder meet Wyatt…also going on 14. He hangs with the big boys like he’s one of them. What a beautiful capture of his world. Thanks for sharing bits of your family with all of us.

erin August 14, 2007 at 8:13 am

so cute and really, so wise, your little guy!

brit August 14, 2007 at 9:24 am

I’m constantly amazed by this as well, how much I learn from them? How they force me to slow down and think. How they force me to prioritize…clean house or mudfight?

Which will they remember more?

Heather August 14, 2007 at 2:29 pm

I have so many thoughts about what you wrote… there’s something that Kahil Gibran wrote about our children. You know, in a book packed away in a box that was part of my life before children. But it says something about our children teaching us… or was that Neil Young? Onto the next thing… in terms of friendship. I would love to know what you have learned about friendship. You seem like an amazing friend to me and I have never met you… You are honest, prompt in your replies, positive, and compassionate. What more could one ask for in a friend?

beki August 15, 2007 at 11:43 am

I love this post. Reading it reminds me to slow down and pay more attention to my little ones are teaching me.

Molly August 15, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Too true. I love learning from my kids how to open up to people rather than shut down. Aidan walked up to some nearby campers playing frisbee and said, “I’ve got one of those.” Before we knew it, they taught Aidan how to play and he had a blast.

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