Lessons from Lisse

Last weekend I attended my granddaughter’s birthday party.  She is four years old.  Perry and Shanti, her parents, organized the party to be held at BounceU.  Being a high school principal most of my life, I learned many lessons from these kids at the party and from Lisse afterward.  I should mention that little kids scare me.  No student in high school ever gave me a leg hug.

  1. Risk-taking. BounceU – many padded slides, mazes, and places to jump. There were several high school students well-placed to ensure safety and to be available if a child got confused.  One place had three mounds that the kids were jumping from one to another.  Sometimes they didn’t jump far enough.  No worries, they climbed up and jumped to the next mound.  Risk-taking, in a safe place, made learning easy.
  2. Learning can be fun especially with others. As I watch in a room full of slides and mazes, a couple of her friends were hesitant to climb up the padded stairs so they could slide down. One or two were hanging on their parent’s leg when they entered the rooms. Soon, watching others, they were confident when they saw what was possible.  They joined in and had fun. (Amazing how many times the kids repeated a fun experience).
  3. It is a colorful world out there. Before pizza and cake, many hundreds of multi-colored balloons were dropped on the kids.  Watching the kids kick, bat, and play with these balloons was fun to watch. The kids were different colors as well.  Nobody cared about what color.  The more colors, the merrier. It is amazing what happens when you focus on a goal, having fun, without worrying about differences.
  4. Opening gifts is a gift. When home, Lisse opened her gifts, one at a time.  She stacked them neatly on the couch.  She took her time, opening them up and taking time to play with one rather than opening everything at once.  The whole family got a necklace made by Lisse.  I asked if I could help her put the beads on the strings.  She said, “no, I’ll do it.” Kids are smart, give them a chance to solve problems first before jumping in.  I started thinking about the gifts I have received from mentors and people over the years.  What a gift to get the gift of ideas, support, and possibilities.  I have been blessed.  How about you?
  5. Modeling is the way. Lisse has a one-year-old sister, Bre.  Lisse let Bre share a few gifts too.  I was reminded of modeling.  If you don’t do it, why would anyone believe they should do it.  Bre got to walk around at BounceU and the living room while Lisse opened her gifts.  Kids are always watching adults and other kids.  Yes, we adults are responsible for our own behavior and what it teaches youngsters.

I am grateful for being a grandpa and the learning from this weekend.  I need to be reminded of the gifts I receive.  I need to take time to reflect, and learn.  Thank you, Lisse.