Today is Bianca’s 3rd anniversary. She is the most precious gift life gave me so far. I am just happy to be around her and she is making me so happy just by being around.

Since she came into our lives, everything changed. Each year, I find myself learning more from her than from my books, my personal development workshops, my any other source of information . When she was one, I learned that “Once you’re down, there are literally a gazillion ways to get up again.” which, along with other 6 things made from my first round of 7 things I learned from my one year girl. When she was two, I learned that “The world is what you say it is” which, along with other 6 things made from my second round of 7 things I learned from my two year old girl.

This is what I learned from my 3 year old daughter last year:

1. Do things on your own

During the last year she had an irrepressible need of doing things on her own. She wants to be there when I assemble furniture, when I plant trees in the garden, when I clean the house, when I cook, when I write, when I check my emails on my iPhone. And she wants to do everything I do, on her own. Maybe some of her experiences are difficult and she’s having a hard time trying to do complicated stuff but she’s enjoying every second of it. Life is better when is experienced first hand.

2. Love is the same, regardless of the loved persons

Her mom, my beloved wife Diana, is having a special relationship with her. They’re playing together, they’re laughing together, they’re watching cartoons together. With me, she is trying to play games or to help me with harder tasks. With her grand parents, she’s inventing on the spot some new moves or activities. With her English kindergarten friends – although she’s not speaking yet very good English – she’s playing like nothing is wrong. Love is the same and is coming from the inside, it’s not a function of the person you love.

3. Making friends is the easiest thing in the world

I’m amazed by her capacity to relate with unknown persons. When we eat out, every waiter is trying to talk with her and she is so responsive, like she knows the guy from the day she was born. She doesn’t reject anybody, unless the person is really annoying and/or boring. Kids don’t have social constraints when it comes to relationships, they’re just interacting naturally with everybody around. No need to exchange cards, phone numbers or to ask for a favor. Bianca is making friends like this is the easiest thing in the world. And I learned from her that this is the easiest thing in the world.

4. Don’t fake it

When she wants something, she really wants something. If she doesn’t get it, she cries. Instantly and with big tears. And you know what: she doesn’t fake it. When she is happy she can laugh for  half an hour continuously. And she doesn’t fake it either. When she’s upset, she’s really upset. When she’s joyful, she’s really joyful. I don’t think I ever saw her faking something, even when she’s trying to pretend she’s upset, she’s so authentic about her pretending. There’s no need to fake sadness or joy, things are so much better when you give yourself permission to be authentic.

5. Learning is better

Last year she had an uninterrupted flow of lessons: she started to talk, she started going to the kindergarten, she started to be more and more autonomous. She’s embracing totally every new experience and she is silently learning. Even when she is not sharing things with us or when she’s not learning directly from us we know that she’s listening, she’s watching and she’s integrating every experience into her life. At some moment we’re just amazed by an unexpected phrase she said, or with a certain sequence of activities she performs on her own, without any help from us. Learning is better.

6. Endless playing

I am amazed about her capacity to play. In every place, in every situation, in every physical state. She plays when she’s tired, she plays when she’s happy, she plays when she’s outside the house, when she’s alone, when she’s with us, she plays everywhere. If I would look through her eyes I’m sure I would see the world as a huge playground, a place created and maintained for our infinite appetite to play. And I love to look at the world through her eyes.

7. Always like the first time

Last year she started to look at short cartoon movies. In fact, with her astounding learning capacity, she started to learn almost all Disney movies we have. But despite the fact she knows the movies by heart (and she can even sing some small passages from Mamma Mia) she constantly ask as to play the same movie again and again. The joy she’s expressing each time is fantastic. It seems like each time she looks at a movie is like the first time. And, in fact, she is. And I learned how to do the same: I can look at the same thing a thousand time and still find something new in it.

I just can’t wait to see what I will learn this year. :-)