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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Happy New Year! Life Lessons from a four year old...

"Mom, a goal without a plan is just a wish!..."

These words, from my daughter a few weeks ago, really resonated with me. Not that I didn't already know this, but to hear her say it out loud made me actually stop and think about where I was going (and why). As someone who maintains a steady diet of wishes and optimism, I have to admit that I was a little crushed, and the impact of her words still continue to bounce around in my head, taunting and challenging me when I least expect them.

Later on, with my hundreds of wishes obviously in peril, I found myself reading some of the inspirational notes and poems that I have taped to the wall and frame of the window in my office (it doesn't open, so it's the perfect canvas for all my paper treasures). My favorite inspirational poem is up there (the always beautiful and powerful Desiderata by Max Ehrmann) but right above it is a copy of a letter that I wrote over ten years ago to the parents of the children that I used to teach at nursery school.

In the letter, I wanted to thank them for welcoming me into the classroom and sharing their children with me, but also, to mention what I had learned from their children in the process. Without knowing it, each and every day their children reminded me of what was important, and how truly wonderful and surprising life can be.

Now, years later, the nursery school children are grown, and my own daughter is now reminding me of how wonderful life can be (and, with a wisdom well beyond her years, telling me that my many wishes are great, but I may need a back-up plan :-)

So, whether you have a back-up plan, live on wishes and wisdom, or just do the very best you can to be happy and kind, here's the ten precious life lessons that I learned from my former nursery school children....

1. Be curious, ask questions.

2. Treat each day as a brand new one; don't be cranky with someone who poked you the day before.

3. Please and thank you will always get you more goldfish crackers :-)

4. We learn best by doing, not by being told what to do.

5. There is always time for silly dancing and silly faces.

6. Laugh at everything; make up your own jokes and laugh at them till your tummy aches.

7. We can never give (or receive) too many hugs.

8. Messy things are more fun!

9. Anything tastes better if you call it a picnic and sit on the floor or crawl into a tent.

10. To dream of being a superhero is a good way to begin your life!

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