When was the last time you were truly amazed by something? And not a “oh whoa, that youtube video from the Kid President was amazing!” but a wonderment that left you speechless, or so excited you couldn’t contain yourself?
Kids have that awe and wonder every single day. From an infant just discovering colors and noises to a toddler discovering he can reach his light switch for the first time, kids are always completely amazed by the smallest things.
When I finally learned what Aric meant when he kept telling me about his friend “Wootia” (which apparently means Sophia) he got this spark in his eyes, a giant smile on his face and said “That’s right, Mama!! Wootia!! You’re right!!” When he reached his light switch for the first time without his stool, he jumped up and down and shouted “I’m big! I’m big!! I reach my light!! I did it! I really did it!”
Other than the moment I met my children, I can’t remember the last time I felt that pure, childlike wonder. It’s like watching fireworks on the 4th of July. Or maybe even seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time. I wish I could be more like my kiddos, finding wonder and amazement in the little things. Watching cupcakes rise and bake in the oven is more entertaining to Aric than Mickey Mouse.
It’s so hard to step back and appreciate the small things, when it’s the big, obvious things that take up my brain power. Things like paying bills on time, making sure the laundry gets done, changing yet ANOTHER diaper. It’s like I don’t have the time or the energy to step back and even notice the small things. I look at Abby who watches the lights overhead as we walk down the aisles of Target, completely amazed at the patterns and changes that she’s seeing, all while I’m contemplating prices and searching for coupons.
Maybe that’s a developmental thing? Maybe kids have more awe and wonder at the small things because they are just seeing/noticing them for the first time, whereas we’ve seen that light or heard that song or reached that light switch twenty thousand times, so we stop noticing the other small wonders. We’d rather briskly walk from the car to the house because dinner needs to be started and laundry needs to be folded whereas kids would rather walk slowly, deliberately, watching for ants or other bugs on the sidewalk, noticing new blades of grass or weeds in the cracks of the driveway. There is nothing else on their minds that what they are seeing and experiencing right then and there.
I wonder what else I’d notice, if I, too, were able to focus on just the here and now, right in front of me, rather than worrying about things to come? I wonder if I’d ever be able to experience that childlike wonder and awe on a regular basis like my children do?
I just hope that they can keep that wonder for as long as they can, and hope that the worries of growing up don’t ever take that away.