In just a few short days, my oldest child will be turning 16. This is a time of mixed emotions – excitement, happiness, anxiety and fear. Our household will undoubtedly change and I’m sure the little hair I have left will thin even more.
With this milestone in his life, I recently found some quiet time to reflect on what my son has taught me over his short 16 years of life. It was quite a moving experience to really consider how much a child can teach his parents. I want to share a few of those thoughts with you.
1. Never Take Anything For Granted – My wife developed H.E.L.L.P. syndrome during her pregnancy with Grayson and was life flighted to Denver. The first thought was to save her life and then determine if the pregnancy was still viable and attempt to save his life. He entered the world on April Fool’s Day in 2001 at 28 weeks. He weighed 1 ½ lbs.! My wife made a full recovery within a month of his birth. Grayson on the other hand went thru a roller coaster of challenges over the next three months before he was finally able to go home. When he left the hospital he weighed just over 5 lbs., but he was in good health. To this day, I never take anything for granted and hug my family every day!
2. True Warriors Never Lose – Not only did my son battle for his life as a little guy, but he has also shown his true warrior side in his teenage years. You see, Grayson was diagnosed around age 5 as legally deaf. Today he wear’s cochlear implants, which allow him to hear about 75% of what is being said. School is tough, going to the movies is tough, playing sports is tough, etc. But never once has he ever complained and always pushes himself to be the best he can. This past February he climbed to the 5th place medal at the Nebraska state wrestling meet. When he is on the mat he can’t wear his cochlear implants, so he is completely deaf out there. The feat of climbing that medal stand has been a dream of his and he worked countless hours to make it happen. His warrior attitude is something I try and learn from daily.
I encourage everyone to take some time to reflect on how those around you can teach you important life lessons. Whether it a child, parent, friend or neighbor, we can learn from everyone around us!