If you're a parent, you're going to want to read this.
Well maybe not want to, but you need to.
Just have tissues ready.
Dr. Alastair McAlpine is a palliative paediatrician (so don't every complain about how hard your job is ever again) from Cape Town, South Africa. He recently completed an assignment where he asked kids with terminal illnesses what gives their lives meaning.
Knowing how valuable the lessons given by children are, Dr. McAlpine decided we could all benefit from their wisdom so shared the results on Twitter.
First:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
NONE said they wished they'd watched more TV
NONE said they should've spent more time on Face Book
NONE said they enjoyed fighting with others
NONE enjoyed hospital
As you'd expect, what really matters to kids is time spent with their loved ones. Mum, Dad, Siblings and even Pets are their whole world.
MANY mentioned their pets:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'I love Rufus, his funny bark makes me laugh.'
'I love when Ginny snuggles up to me at night and purrs'
'I was happiest riding Jake on the beach.'
MANY mentioned their parents, often expressing worry or concern:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'Hope mum will be ok. She seems sad.'
'Dad mustn't worry. He'll see me again soon.'
'God will take care of my mum and dad when I'm gone'
ALL of them loved ice-cream.— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
What’s also interesting about these kids responses is how they spent time with their families and friends. Interactive, intimate moments of love and kindness.
ALL of them loved books or being told stories, especially by their parents:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'Harry Potter made me feel brave.'
'I love stories in space!'
'I want to be a great detective like Sherlock Holmes when I'm better!'
Folks, read to your kids! They love it. /5
MANY wished they had spent less time worrying about what others thought of them, and valued people who just treated them 'normally'.— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'My real friends didn't care when my hair fell out.'
'Jane came to visit after the surgery and didn't even notice the scar!' /6
Many of them loved swimming, and the beach.— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'I made big sandcastles!'
'Being in the sea with the waves was so exciting! My eyes didn't even hurt!' /7
What else meant a lot to them? How their people make them feel.
Almost ALL of them valued kindness above most other virtues:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'My granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.'
'Jonny gave me half his sandwich when I didn't eat mine. That was nice.'
'I like it when that kind nurse is here. She's gentle. And it hurts less' /8
Almost ALL of them loved people who made them laugh:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'That magician is so silly! His pants fell down and I couldn't stop laughing!'
'My daddy pulls funny faces which I just love!'
'The boy in the next bed farted! Hahaha!'
Laughter relieves pain. /9
Kids love their toys, and their superheroes.— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'My Princess Sophia doll is my favourite!'
'I love Batman!' (All the boys love Batman)
'I like cuddling my teddy' /10
Finally, they ALL valued time with their family. Nothing was more important.— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
'Mum and dad are the best!'
'My sister always hugs me tight'
'No one loves me like mummy loves me!' /11
The most extra-ordinary moments in life are usually the most ordinary ones. Playing with the dog, snuggling on the couch, going for a bushwalk...these are the moments that make kids feel safe, secure and loved.
In fact, kids don't care what they're doing, as long as their surrounded by those who love them. That's what they remember.
So what's the lesson here? I'll leave that to Dr. McApline...
Take home message:— Alastair McAlpine (@AlastairMcA30) 1 February 2018
Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them.
These are the things these kids wished they could've done more. The rest is details.
Oh... and eat ice-cream. /End