The Day My 3-Year-Old Taught Me One of the Most Important Lessons of My Life

The Day My 3-Year-Old Taught Me One of the Most Important Lessons of My Life

Getting married and starting a family is the best thing I have ever done. The theme of my life is that everything is unfolding as it should and in its own time.

I was married at 36, and Cara and I had our first child when I was 40. We have since added another girl, Ellenor, and I couldn’t be happier.

I had dreams about my oldest daughter. I know it sounds corny, but I really did. I had a dream I was walking with a little beautiful girl. We were holding hands, and she was talking nonstop. I was rapt with attention and life couldn’t be better.

That dream came true.

madilyn one day oldMadilyn was born (literally) with her eyes wide open, and she hasn’t stopped talking, exploring and experimenting yet.

She has always been insightful. It’s a little scary. When she was 3, we were driving in my car. I had a particularly stressful day at school and needed some silence or some music to soothe my completely frayed nerves. Madilyn was, of course, talking, telling stories, and making observations. At one point during the drive, I told Madilyn I needed some quiet to get my head together.

She granted me silence. A few minutes later Madilyn said, in her sweet, 3-year-old voice, “Dad?”

I said, “yes, Madilyn.” (maybe a little impatient).

She drove on, “Dad, sometimes little things to big people are big things to little people.”

I almost drove off the road. In one sentence, this little being taught me one of the most important lessons of my life.

She was exactly right. We have a whole world going on around us, but to these little people, we are their whole world.

In many respects, the same can be said about our students. We are their teachers. We spend more waking hours with them from August to May, than they do with anyone else. Their voices matter, and even though we need to make sure they use their voices properly, we must acknowledge their voice at all times.

They are important.

Sometimes little things to big people are big things to little people. (tweet this)

About Jeff Davis 10 Articles
With 14 years of experience in education in Florida and Tennessee, Jeff Davis is a middle school administrator, speaker and blogger whose passion is building lasting connections among teachers, students, parents and the community.


  1. You are AMAZING and I love you with all my heart, to the moon and back.(not just because you are my nephew] Many of the “teacher” “Vice PrinciPAL” quotes I have been able to relate to “nursing” and teaching “new nurses”.

    I wish everyone who reda your stories could know you like I do. I promise not to tell all the Jeff Stories

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