What My 6 Year-Old Taught Me
A simple conversation about some not-so-simple topics left me learning from my 6 year-old son.
Yesterday was (and for that matter this week has been) quite stressful. Just not enough time to breath, let alone catch up. Tonight, I had a bonus night with my son as our schedules have been strange.
Even though my "to do" list was long and, to be honest, I started off distracted, we spent some time reading books, drawing pictures, and then laying together as he went to bed. It was as I put him to bed that we had one of the coolest conversations.
Some dear friends of mine tragically lost their daughter a few weeks ago, and since that time, my son has been wrestling with what death is all about, how to understand it, what it all means, and how it might relate to him. It's a lot for a nearly 7 year-old to comprehend. It has led to conversations about purpose and our time spent together.
Tonight, as he was falling asleep and we discussed the concepts he's been wrestling with one more time, I told him that being his dad was the best thing I will ever do and the role I feel most fortunate to be given. I also told him that my goal in life has become very clear of late. I want to be someone who finds common ground and is loving and welcoming no matter what anyone's unique walk or story might be. I want to do my part to treasure those around me and those who don't know how special they are. I told him that as more important than my work job and something we can all choose to do.
He looked at me and said, "So our job is to love?" I said yes. In the most earnest, simple, and kind way he said, "OK, no problem. I can do that."
While I know he's young and doesn't know the complete magnitude of that statement, I have no doubt he can do that. In fact, in most ways, he already does.