In honor of my daughter’s 14th birthday, I decided to write five things that I have learned from her over the years. She is an exceptional child. Diagnosed with deafness at birth and autism at the age of five, Taylor has taught me patience, perseverance and how to smile even when things are challenging. The doctors thought that she would never walk, but she surpassed the odds.
A couple years ago, I wrote a letter to thanking her for traveling with me over the years to new cities and new schools. Taylor has taught me so many lessons in the process. Below are five of them:
1. Bathe Often. Water is refreshing and signifies new life. Taylor swims everyday (in the bathtub) with the zeal of an Olympic swimmer. I look forward to continuing her swimming lessons. The water is where I see her confidence and talent shine through. The amazing thing is that she taught herself how to swim.
2. Smile. Her smile is infectious and she has an amazing sense of humor. I am grateful for her ability to smile, even though her world is limited.
3. Watch carefully before you speak. Without the ability to hear, she cannot understand certain signals. However, she watches carefully, sizes up the situation, and then responds. Listening involves more than using your ears; you can see better when your mouth is not moving.
4. Follow the leader. Don’t follow just any leader, but appropriate leadership. Rather than thinking of ways to not comply, follow the rules. It keep things simple and as a result you save money time, and energy.
5. Learn a new language. Language is everything. Without the ability to speak someone’s language, or the willingness to get an interpreter to assist, it is almost impossible to communicate with them effectively. The same thing applies for love languages. Learning the languages of the people you love, is not only beneficial, but it creates a deep and long lasting understanding for who they are. Therefore, giving you a better opportunity to love them properly.
But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV