4 Year Old Life Lessons

A meal I never liked: Thanksgiving. In my life I can categorize the things that I do into two groups: 1. Things I have to do. 2. Things I like to do. Oversimplifying, maybe but it works for this blog post.

Thanksgiving is in the bucket of things I have to do. I don't like to cook (although I pretend sometimes but it doesn't last very long). I have a low tolerance for small talk and crowds of my family frightens the introvert in me. This year wasn't so different from past years with the usual questions still surfacing: how's work (this conversation always comes to a quick end), have you thought about having kids, and what dish did you bring (answer: none). I spent much of the night engaging just enough for the small chatter to continue without awkward moments while I observed my niece and nephews play hide and seek.

I was stuck by my 4-year-old niece who displayed a sense of confidence that shined brighter than the newly decorated Christmas tree flickering behind her. I wondered, if her sense of self worth was part of great parenting, part of being a 4 year old, or just part of her personality. I was in awe at her inner resolve to stand up to brothers, take a compliment with grace, and assertively ask for what she wanted.

I know she's only 4 but, I wonder if there is a lesson here for adults. A lesson in self confidence, in being okay with 'me', in asking for what we want, and in taking a compliment with grace. Just sayin'.


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