I've written before about what it might be like if I acted like my two-year-old.
But as I've watched him over the past several weeks, I've seen a whole new side of my toddler that I can learn from -- and that is this kid's unfailingly joyful self-confidence.
My son springs from his bed each morning ready for the AWESOMEST DAY EVER!!!!
I ask him how he slept. He throws his arms wide and beams,
"It was great!!! I dreamed about candy!!!!"
Next up: breakfast.
Here's something I bet you didn't know: There is, in fact, a way to be the best at eating breakfast, and my son has mastered it.
How do I know this? Because in between bites of oatmeal he loudly announces,
"I am THE BEST at eating breakfast!!!!!"
I barely have time to agree before my boy is off to the backyard sandbox to construct the BIGGEST and MOST WONDERFUL castle EVER in the history of, well, EVER!!! He calls his siblings to gather around and admire his handiwork, at which point his baby sister trods around destroying it completely.
BUT NEVER FEAR! My son is confident that his next project is going to be EVEN BETTER!
We get dressed and it's off to music class, where the confidence parade continues. My boy sings along in a voice as booming as it is off-key. He dances with his arms splayed above his head and his rump shaking with abandon. His drum banging is wild and exuberant enough to require a substantial "safety zone" and is only interrupted by an occasional pause to announce that he is, in fact,
"SO GREAT AT DRUMMING!"
After lunch and naps (which are GREAT, thanks for asking!) we head to the indoor playspace for a little fun. My kiddo takes on an older kid at the air hockey table. While he is not particularly skilled or even familiar at all with how the game works, my son's enthusiasm is undimmed. Each time his opponent knocks the puck into my son's goal my son jumps up and down shouting,
"I DID IT!!!"
Oh yes! I'm fantastic at this!
The four-year-old he's playing against is justifiably annoyed by this reaction and attempts to inform my son that he is, in fact, losing terribly. His efforts are in vain, however, as my son's teflon shield of gleeful self-assurance cannot be penetrated by logic, and he continues to whoop in celebration each time his adversary scores on him.
Next it's home for dinner (GREAT!) and a couple of awesome laps around the yard:
"WOW, LOOK HOW STRONG I AM PICKING UP THIS SHOVEL!"
"I CAN CLIMB SO HIGH THAT IT'S AMAZING!"
"DO YOU KNOW I'M SO FAST YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE ME?"
...before it's time to wind down in the bath (alert: my son is just awesome at getting clean!). The last activity before bedtime is a final nude strut about the house.
Like a peacock showing off its plumage, my son marches from room to room greeting anyone who might be about in all his naked glory. His belly juts out in front of him, his dimpled bottom wiggles behind, and his hair sticks up in crazy tufts above his head.
And his smiles conveys all along, "I rule."
Then it's off for bedtime stories and sweet dreams to get rested up for yet another amazing day tomorrow.
As I leave 40 in the rearview mirror, I feel like I've also left behind much of the self-doubt that plagued decades of my earlier life, and I am truly grateful for that. But as I've watched my son over these past few weeks, I know that I still have some things to learn from him.
I mean the kid is basically a walking inspirational refrigerator magnet:
He dances like there's no one watching, he sings like there's no one listening, and he said last week upon arriving at the breakfast table:
"I wonder how many good things are going to happen before bed today? I bet at least one hundred."
As someone who often arrives at the same table with the thought,
"Ugh, how am I going to make it through this one?"
I figure I have a thing or two left to learn from my son...
...in all his joyfully confident two-year-old-ness.