I recently discovered AURORA, and if you haven’t heard her music, do yourself a favor and get on it. She is a 100 emoji all around.
One song in particular stood out to me when I first found her, and it’s been on my heart a lot lately. In “Through the Eyes of a Child,” she writes about wishing she could experience life with an innocent soul, feeling jaded and tired. You guys, this is 100 emoji me. Especially today. I don’t know why I’m spelling out 100 emoji, but let’s roll with it.
I have been running pretty close to empty all week. Maybe it’s because I don’t really take personal time off of work, or maybe it’s because I finally am starting on Friday and my mind and body are just done. Or maybe it’s a full moon and my bones are preparing to morph into werewolf bones. I like to dream it’s the last one.
Anyway, I was not really feeling like adulting today. I missed being able to just have my mom call in for me, saying I wasn’t feeling well or we had an appointment or something. I missed being taken care of in all facets.
And the tables have turned pretty dramatically. I’m an infant/toddler teacher now. I love my job, I love working with toddlers, but it is exhausting. Worth it, but exhausting.
After a long morning of breaking up baby fights (which is savage, by the way) and changing diapers and feeding them all, I was putting the kiddos down for nap.
“Finally,” I thought. “Finally I can go get some lunch and recharge.”
And then I looked at one of the almost-two-year-olds and he looked at me. He scooted a little closer and whispered, with a goofy smile, “I lub you, Ra-ra.”
We kept our eyes locked until he finally, slowly drifted off to sleep.
First off, that was adorable and I shit you not, I almost cried. But secondly, it made me think really hard about my experience in this life.
I work with kids because they give my life purpose on my worst days. They bring an energy and an innocence to life that I have sometimes forgotten. They don’t have filters and they laugh and cry whenever they feel like it, and I dig that. They also walk like drunk adults.
But when this little goober looked at me and said that he lubs me, that did me in. He doesn’t see me struggling to get my day started. He doesn’t see me getting there just in time for my shift. He doesn’t see me forgetting breakfast or needing coffee or checking my odometer, hoping I can make it until the end of the week before I run out of gas.
He sees me.
Through his eyes, I am strong. I am capable. I have authority over things and I have a say in how the day will go. I have it in control. He can count on me when his mother isn’t there. He feels safe. I can do anything. And he lubs me for it.
It takes a lot to work with kids, especially littles. But if you have the opportunity to volunteer or babysit for a friend or whatever, do it. Kids will love you unconditionally (until they’re teens, but that ain’t my problem). Kids will recharge your spirit and heal you in ways you will never imagine. Kids will give you a chance to see yourself through the eyes of a child.
They’ll also drop bananas on the ground and laugh hysterically when you trip and bruise yourself on the changing table, but hey, we can’t have it all.