20 Lessons from My Grandson

Wisdom from a 2-year-old guru any adult can use

I just returned from Australia and visiting my daughter, her fiance, and my grandson.  The last time I saw them in person was in March of 2020.  COVID-19 was spreading around the world and I had to cut my visit short in order to get home to the US before the borders closed, or I couldn’t get a flight out.

Fortunately, I got to be there for my grandson’s arrival, but had to leave when he was only five weeks old. 

Thank goodness for video phone calls, or I would have completely missed his growth between then and now. 

It’s hard to express how wonderful it was to see them in person, and how difficult it was to leave them again.  

I did my best to be mindful of every moment we spent together.  I watched, and played, danced, painted, played with the diggers in the gravel, and shot some hoops at the school near their house.  And while I was there I observed how he went through his days – very present in all he was doing. So, I decided to write down what I learned from him and that list appears here.

I noted that we could learn a great deal living by these lessons that my 2-year-old grandson embodied. Many of these I knew, but it was nice to be reminded of things that are likely innate for all of us. We just need to shed some of the baggage we accumulate as we become adults.

We tend to make living happily so hard.  I noticed that there are many things he naturally does that we as adults can do that would significantly increase our happiness factor.  

You might say, yeah, he’s only two and doesn’t need to worry about relationships or debt, or many of the other things we adults tend to stress out about, but that’s not exactly accurate. He navigates relationships in skillful ways.  For example, #1 has to do with trust. He was 5 weeks old when I last saw him in person. I hadn’t seen him in two years because of the pandemic (he lives in Australia, I’m in the USA). So, he wasn’t particularly keen to be my friend at first. I had to earn that honor.  Unfortunately, many traumatic things have happened in the name of family.

He may not have to worry about debt, but if his parents do – he will feel it.  We can be more in touch with how our unconscious thoughts affect how we are with other people.

Or, #13 – Be curious about other people.  Racism and discrimination are learned.

And, #19 speaks to being present.  Even a 2-year-old knows when you’re not paying attention to them. 

There are lessons in self-care, getting your needs met, relationships, communication, curiosity, courage, and mindful eating.

Thanks, buddy.