9 Lessons From My 9-Month-Old Nephew, Who’s Taught Me How To Live

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William Arthur Ward


Ahh, my heart skips a beat at just the sound of his name.

In 2018, a tiny human being arrived on the planet, one who would change my life. In the short nine months my nephew Oliver has been in my life, I’ve learned a lot. I’m not talking about changing nappies and bottle-feeding, although I’m getting to grips with these essentials too. No, Oliver has taught me valuable lessons about life itself. Here are nine of the biggest.

1. Love and be loved.

Those who meet Oli can’t help but love him. He has big, beautiful, blue eyes and a smile that you can’t help but reciprocate.

Although he’s beautiful on the outside, it’s his spirit I love most. He’s gentle, innocent, and curious. I see the good in him, and even though I know he’ll make mistakes as he grows up, I also know it won’t change my unconditional love for him.

Loving Oli in this way has taught me to be more loving and less judgmental of others because I recognize that in every adult there’s an innocent child who’s just trying to do their best.

This has also helped me better open up and receive love. I feel how deeply I want to help Oli, and how much it means to me when I can, which makes me more receptive when others want to help me.

2. Make time to play.

Oliver’s social schedule is impressive, better than most adults! He goes to birthday parties, visits family, has trips out, not to mention the numerous baby classes he attends. Regardless of where he is, whether it’s a class with friends or a rainy day spent at home, I can count on one thing—he’s playing!

One morning, while watching Oli play, I asked myself, “Do I make enough time to play?” Adulting can be a serious matter at times, but that’s not to say we can’t pass time in a way that lights us up. Maybe I’m a little old to play with toy cars (or maybe not). Still, it’s important I make time for fun.

So I now make time to play piano and watch movies instead of telling myself these things are unimportant, and I try to infuse a spirit of play into everything I do instead of taking it all so seriously.

3. Praise ourselves.

Recently, my sister taught Oli the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands.” He’s always a little out of time, but he’s mastered clapping itself. It melts my heart to see him clapping away with his mini…

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