12/18/2014 06:25 pm ET Updated Feb 17, 2015

Gifts From My Children That Changed Me for Good


Wicked may be my all-time favorite show. And "For Good" is one of my all-time favorite songs. In case you don't know it, let me hum you a few bars...

So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
Because I knew you... I have been changed for good.

So it's holiday gift-giving time, and I'm thinking of gifts I've received that have changed me... for good. What comes to mind? Things my kids have given through their patient teaching of their mom.

My daughter taught me that she is not me and her way of doing things is not my way. "Different" doesn't necessarily require fixing. From this I've learned that we each have our own way of being in the world. When I allow myself to calm down and accept differences, I can learn from the ways of others.

My son taught me that exploring all sides of an argument can be good sport and a great mental workout. From this I've learned that when you understand someone else's point of view well enough to advocate for it (even if you don't agree), you can learn important things about the way people think.

My daughter taught me that fun can be had in pretty much any situation. Just bring your imagination and sense of play. From this I've learned you don't need a reason to tweak the ordinary into the outlandish. Weird is its own reward. If it brings a smile that's reason enough, so why not?

My son taught me that talking unkindly about people is not the best use of anyone's time or intellect. From this I've learned to watch my mouth and remember that just because I've thought of something sarcastic or clever doesn't mean I need to say it or tweet it.

My daughter taught me that organizing your time and your life helps you do more of what you want. It also helps you feel good about what you've accomplished. From this I've learned you don't have to choose between creative and efficient. You can be efficiently creative. You can also be creatively efficient.

My son taught me that listening is a skill worth developing. From this I've learned that when you want people to take you seriously, listen more and talk less. When you speak, come from a caring place.

My daughter taught me that setting boundaries is a good thing. From this I've learned that telling other people what you need makes it more likely you'll get it. You'll also find out sooner rather than later whether someone is your kind of friend. If not, lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed.

My son taught me that everyone deserves respect -- as does their time and their endeavors. From this I've learned that just because I've got something I want done now doesn't mean my priorities trump everyone else's. I've learned patience from this one too.

My daughter has taught me that accessorizing is fun because if life is a stage then the body is a canvas.

My daughter and son have both helped me realize that being their mom is truly an amazing honor and what a gift! Thanks so much, my lovies. I am eternally grateful.