The last few weeks as I’ve worried and stressed and run around like a crazy person trying to have a second child have given me a new appreciation for the child who already calls me Mommy. It’s easy to get caught up in the super fast pace of life in which we’re always in a hurry and forget to take notice of the little things. Fortunately for me Shorty sometimes forces me to slow down and look at the world through rose colored glasses.
Somewhere in the journey from childhood to adulthood we all lose our innocence and most of us lose a good deal of creativity. It’s sad. Having a small child reminds me of what life could be like if we all had a bit of that innocence and creativity back. Wouldn’t it be nice if life could be made great just by the promise of ‘Go Diego’ fruit snacks? I wish I could look at someone’s bent knee and think, “Oh look, a mountain.” I wish hugging a Dumbo stuffed doll made me smile in satisfaction.
For a child they know that these small things are something to be grateful and gleeful about. Life is lived in the moment. It’s not about hurrying to the next activity. It’s about taking your time and exploring everything that surrounds you. It’s about finding the beauty in the everyday objects of life. Children notice the sky, the trees, the grass, and the animals. They pick up very quickly on other people’s feelings. They take great pleasure in hugs and snuggles and having someone read to them. They know that by using their imagination anything is possible. A train can fall off the mountain and somehow magically get itself working again. A little boy can be an airplane, a loving parent to his stuffed ‘babies’, or a super fast race car.
Children sing and dance with no worries about being in tune or whether or not others are looking. They show their emotions freely and at any time they want. They don’t pretend to be someone they are not. They aren’t afraid to say what they want. And they believe in magic and fairy tales. They know how to laugh and have fun.
As a parent watching all this I sometimes I get a lump in my throat. One one hand, I am amazed at the beauty in my child. Is it possible that this perfect being came from my body? On the other hand, I fear that he will lose his innocence too soon. In a world where information is so readily available and where horrible acts can and do happen everyday how do I protect him? And what of his ability to find such creativity in the world? Will he, like most of us, lose the ability to think outside the box and see endless possibilities and solutions in simple things?
I can only hope that Shorty keeps a part of his child self forever. I will do what I can to help him stay happy and encourage his creativity. And someday, as I do now, I hope he has the joy of watching the beauty in his own child and being able to relive a little bit of childhood through the eyes of someone so small.