What My 15 Month Old Nephew Taught Me About Life

What My 15 Month Old Nephew Taught Me About Life

Let's all play nice in the sandbox.

We all assume that with age, comes bountiful knowledge, a more enlightened perspective of the world, or great success. In most cases, this is true. In some cases, it is not. I’ve often noticed how age tends to complicate things, and how the simplicity of youth melts away into a pool of newfound responsibilities. Suddenly, I’m supposed to be lining up perspective jobs, getting my funds in order, and thinking about what the hell I want to do with my life. It makes me wonder: to what extent do we sacrifice the joy of naivety for the confines of responsibility? It’s an inevitable shift. When you turn a certain age, it is expected that you have your shit together.

As is the case with many, with the increase of responsibility, comes the increase of stress. Closely woven into this stress is the inability to see life for what it is, and rather, what it’s supposed to be. I hope one day to be successful in whatever field I pursue, I hope to foster relationships with new colleagues, maintain old relationships, and eventually bring life into the world. Then I take a step back, realize I’m only twenty years old, and wonder why I’m focusing on giving birth right now, rather than my plans for next weekend. While it’s probably not wise to float through life in a bubble of bliss without a plan, without responsibilities, or considering the possibility of (f)unemployment, it’s also not wise to always be concerning yourself with the daunting thoughts of your future.

My older sister gave birth to a little bundle of sunshine on March 10, 2015. With a vocabulary limited to words such as Mama, Dada, up-up, and Niney (my family nickname,) I can proudly state that my 15 month old nephew has taught me a multitude of lessons. At 15 months, Henry has the same capability of basic emotions as the rest of us do: he laughs, he cries, he smirks, and you can definitely tell when he’s pissed off. If something is funny: he laughs. If something is funny: he cries. He embodies the simplistic naivety of youth, something that we shed as we grow. Thus I learn my first lesson: it’s okay to express how you’re feeling. It’s okay to cry, to get mad, and to laugh. Often we live guarded, and emotions make us seem inferior, weak, or unprofessional. While I wouldn’t recommend breaking down into hysterical tears at your office, it’s important to express how you feel. When you surround yourself with the right people, then expressing your emotions should be as easy as crying over spilt milk.

Just this past week, Henry-Bean started cruising around with a crawl-walk hybrid. He’s still getting the hang of the whole standing-on-his-own-two-feet thing, but he understands that in order to walk on his own, sometimes he has to fall down (adorably) on his bum. Alas folks, the second lesson. There is nothing more fascinating, nerve-wracking, and exciting than learning a new skill. Sometimes it comes to you easily, and following that first step, you’re cruising across the room. Often times, it takes many falls, bumped heads, and bruises before you’re proficient. It’s something you take day-by-day, week-by-week. Some start early, and others take their time. Babies can walk anywhere between nine and sixteen months. There is no need to concern yourself with how you rank up next to your companions: just finding the courage to take the first step brings you one day closer to meeting that goal.

When he’s not cruising around causing trouble, Henry will opt to play with his many toys (first grandchild privileges.) However, with so many toys to play with, he never proves selfish. With tiny fingers wrapped around a wooden block, he’ll frequently grin and place it in your palm. It is no question that the kid will pass kindergarten with flying colors. Nevertheless, it is in this action that Henry teaches me a final lesson: happiness is often shared. While it is very much possible to wrap yourself up in others’ happiness, thus rejecting your own, I can’t help but counter this. What good is happiness if you have no one to share it with? Just as Henry finds joy in sharing his blocks, so too do I find joy in sharing my moments, experiences, and memories with others. In a seamless allegory for real life, Henry’s ability to thoughtlessly invite others to share in his block-building experience paints the picture of an ideal world.

While at some point it is crucial to get our lives in order, it is likewise crucial to maintain a fun-filled impression of the world. My 15 month-old nephew has taught me lifelong lessons that I will continue to abide by for the years to come. It is the ability to express yourself, to take the first step, and to share your happiness with others that helps to maintain the balance between what life is supposed to be and what life can be. Life is supposed to be orderly, and we’re supposed to have it together. Yet life can be fun, carefree, and inspiring as well. A strong combination of the two is what I’m aiming for. But don’t listen to me- I’m a 20 year old taking advice from a 15 month-old.

Cover Image Credit: Caroline Legare

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"


This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.


Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.


Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.



You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.


You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.


The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers


You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.


The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"


The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution


This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi


Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters


You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs


Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.



Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets


Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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