COVID Lessons from a 1 year old boy

This year has brought a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I changed the oil in my car, the first time I zoomed a dance lesson, the first time created a new website and the first time I attended a Virtual Birthday Party.

My nephew just turned 1! Can you believe it! He's a cutie pie and he knows it. When it came ot the party, we zoomed like we typically do for our family get togethers. My brother and his wife got the festivities started.

The party started with a slideshow, showing how cute he is and proceeded to finsih up with a photo of his 1 year on this Earth. They placed baby Tadhg (Irish name on his mom's side- pronounced Tide with a G) near a backdrop pronouncing his Wild One theme and proceeded to present the gifts. Then started cake and that's when all the excitement happened.

He wasn't so interested in the presents. He wasn't sure what it all meant. It was completely new to him. In time, i'm certain he'll learn the excitement a gift brings. But for now, it was the food that took priority. Cake came and as baby's do, he loved to get his hands dirty (or sweet in this case). In he dove and proceeded to feel the new textures on his hands and the new tastes in his mouth. He loved the pieces of strawberry he ate, but was unsure of the sugary sweet taste of the cake. He'd make a face of pure disgust, then counter it with jubilation. On and on the game went. After all, we couldn't get enough of the cuteness.

If you've been reading these emails, then you probably know something about me by now. I can take meaning from anything into a life lesson learned. And this day, my teacher was a one year old. I started to wonder, what kind of world is my nephew going to grow up in? What kind of world is my nephew going to create? What will he think of this time that we've never experienced before? And that's when it hit me.


You see of the two of us, I'm the only one in this scenario with perspective. With perspective, one can think. Damn! That's deep. But it's true. He doesn't have perspective. It's the first time he's experiencing this world. There's nothing to compare it to. All he knows is a set of parents that were around for a year plus, loving on him, taking care of him and showing him what family looks like. All he knows is trail and error of crawling and walking, tasting new foods and cake. He won't think about the world around him because in order for him to think, he needs comparison. So, he'll know what his world is like.

As for me, I'll think. Think about what baby Tadhg is going through, how cute he is and how Cari and I can spoil him as his aunt and uncle. As for me, I'll think and have perspective on the world around me. And as such, I'll take a page from Tadhg's book. A page that focuses on not comparing this world to the previous one, but experiencing it with fresh new eyes and an open heart. I'll focus on what i could create in this world and what new things I can experience than I ever have before. I'll know, because I'll be excited of my present and even brighter future.

And when it's time for me to reflect, then I'll think. I'll think of the unprecedented time and how it gave me a Virtual Birthday Party. And I'll think of the time I learned about life...from a 1 year old boy.

Thanks Tadhg!

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