When do we stop exploring the world around us? Looking for little bits of magic across our day? Sometimes when I watch my children do just this, I have snippets of childhood memories flash before my eyes. I remember a time I wasn’t always preoccupied with the next thing I need to do. There was a time I didn’t feel helplessly restless if I wasn’t being productive. A time I wasn’t constantly in a state of darting from one task to the next. A time, like my children, I was amazed and enthralled with the world around me and would stop to explore all the magnificent wonders that surround us.
Having children has certainly magnified my drive to be constantly doing and finishing tasks significantly. In part because having children means something always, always needs done. Yet, when I watch my son and daughter pause and soak in everything around them it encourages me to stop and do the same. To learn from their innate curiosity and ability to recognize that being able to relish in and explore the now is the true beauty to enjoying life.
Having children has a magical way of speeding up your life while simultaneously slowing down the everyday and mundane, which is a beautiful blessing in the madness. My daughter will stop to sort through pinecones and rocks along her path to bring home as “surprises” for mom and dad. She will pause running to the swing to giggle at the sight of a butterfly. My son will wriggle until you plop him on the ground so he can marvel at the way the grass feels between his fingers and wonder at the textures of gravel, dirt and leaves.
Pausing to watch our children allows us to have a second chance to capture everyday delights that we typically breeze by in our flurry to manage our day. We are blessed with the opportunity to reset our focus and once again see this magnificent world through fresh eyes. To learn and live through their innocence and join in their moments of wonder. An opportunity to recognize there is still so much beauty to experience even when our souls feel stuck in the sludge of negativity.
Have you ever stopped what you were doing to watch your daughter marvel at the way rain glitters in sunshine? Or paused in your rush to fold laundry to admire your son looking at and trying to figure out his shadow on the wall? Tiny little moments of them exploring the world around them that we miss when we rush to check the next item off of the list we force ourselves to be ruled by.
It can be so easy to become frustrated and distracted with your children, especially when you are trying to tow them along with you as you rush from activity to activity or task to task. But, oh my, what a blessing when we allow ourselves the room to get on their level. To let them give us a peak into their world of exploration. To allow them to pull us into their imagination.
I have been trying to look at the interruptions and distractions that are a part of my current chapter raising littles as a gift. To view midnight (and 2am and 4am and 6am) nursing sessions, as the chance to watch the way the moon is shining through the leaves as they gently dance in the nighttime breeze. I can memorize the way my son’s fuzzy head feels on my cheek as I tuck him under my chin to sleep. To embrace my daughter coming in to show me her 50th colored page while I try to work as a means of strengthening our bond, so she will always want to show and share with me the big and little things she is doing and feeling.
As a human, I will fail to explore and soak in those tiny moments with my children over and over again. How lucky am I to be able to wake up tomorrow and try again though. What explorations have your children brought you on?