I created The Catalyst Project almost four years ago now and the true catalyst for me were my two children, Gabe and Reese. When people ask my why I started writing and jumping into some of these projects, it was a simple answer. I just wanted a platform where I could teach my kid’s the important lessons I’ve learned in my 30 years (ok, 37 : )
But…here’s the funny thing. As much as we think about teaching our kids important lessons, we many times fall short with our awareness of the lessons we can learn – yes, learn – from these little people.
Gabe is now 5 and Reese is 4.
They’re growing up fast. The conversations get more hysterical every day…and, at times, more frustrating. Everyday there are smiles and everyday there are tears….and, everyday, I get to witness the emotions and quirks of a 4 and 5 year old trying to find there way around little odds and ends of life. It’s amazing to me how they’re sponges and pick up on so many things.
And, now, I think about the lessons I’ve learned from Gabe and Reese.
They teach me so much if I really pay attention.
So, with that….thank you my little munchkins for teaching me about facing each day as it is, no matter what challenges and emotions you faced the day before. Each day starts anew.
Thank you for teaching me about showing your emotions and wearing your hearts on your sleeve. For crying when you’re upset…or sad. For telling me like it is and not pulling any punches (even if it riles me up a bit).
Thank you for negotiating – keep doing that as it will play an important role in life. Thank you for fighting for what you want, even if someone (daddy or mommy) pushes back….and, for not always being worried about the score of the game…you’ll have enough time to think about that as you get older, believe me.
Thank you for having fun and just being you. Whether it’s playing with a stick or on the playset, you teach me to take every moment and find the most fun with it.
Thank you for being creative. The most important thing you can do in life is make an impact in other’s lives…and, one of the best ways to do it is to create something. Don’t ever settle…keep creating. Whether it’s drawing, painting, singing or dancing (or whatever)…keep doing it.
Thank you for teaching me about having faith in something and believing in me and your mom to protect you. Thank you for hugs and hand holding and for coming to me when you need something. When you get older, you’ll probably want to go at things all alone and you may feel like a failure if you ask for help. Don’t fall into that trap. It’s a myth – seek help when you need it.
Thank you for your prayers at dinner. I love when you just talk and thank God for your friends, your dog, the sun and the moon. You just say what’s in your heart and that’s so, so important.
Thank you for appreciating the little things. The first time you drew your name on a piece of paper and that big smile when you showed me…even with the backwards E. For getting the cone instead of the bowl…and being so excited that you got two scoops.
Thank you for playing together, even after you knock each other around…and, for saying sorry, even when you don’t want to.
Thank you for being silly – and saying the silliest stuff or just no reason. Sometimes we just have to let our hair down and bring out our goofy side…..for your belly giggles – they are the best.
Thank you for being so remarkably stubborn and strong willed sometimes. We might not like those moments dealing with you, but sometimes you just have to fight for what you want.
Thank you for greeting me after a business trip, like you just saw Santa Claus. You’ve taught me to appreciate my time with you so much…and to throw out my frustrations from delayed flights and meetings that drag on too long.
Most of all, thank you for teaching me that we can never stop growing. You learn something new everyday, every moment, especially at your age. When you grow up, you may think that you don’t have anything more to learn. Fight that – you can always learn…from every challenge, from every person you meet, from every frustration you experience.
The days are long sometimes, but I know one day I’ll wake up and you’ll be all grown up…and, not as silly, and you’ll have bad days, and big challenges and frustrations in life. And, one day, you’ll probably think you’re too big to learn anything new. When that day comes, I hope you read this, and realize that you too can learn from others….and, can learn from your little ones.
It’s a privilege for me to be your dad, I can tell you that.