Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Wonder of Youth


I woke up before my two young children and slowly sat up in bed.  I glanced out the bedroom window to witness a thin layer of snow covering the ground.  My initial thought went straight to Damn.  I took absolutely no joy in nature’s beauty.  I have witnessed over thirty snowfalls, and the first few flakes have long ago ceased to excite me.  These days, my thoughts go to colder weather, more cautious driving, and the threat of Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder.  

Then my daughter, not quite two years old, arose.  As she too gazed out the glass window pane upon waking, an expression of pure awe and wonderment spread over her entire precious face.  She looked back at me and smiled, then pointing out the window and tilting her head in a toddler’s inquisitive fashion.

“It’s snow, Emily,” I said. “Snow.”

“Snow. Snow. Snow,” she repeated with unreserved glee.  She began to bounce up and down in the bed as she grinned from ear to ear repeating this one word that had inspired cursing in my adult mind. “Snow! Snow! Snow!”

I bundled both children up, and took them to daycare.  When she got out of the car and when her feet first landed in the snow, her wonder began completely anew – as though she had forgotten what she observed and learned this morning.  She pointed down at the ground and beamed at me once more. 

“Yes. Snow, Emily,” I told her, “Do you remember?”

“Snow! Snow! Snow!” she excitedly shouted once again and stomped her tiny little feet up and down in the wet, white substance.

I had to scoop her up into my arms to bring her into the building as she appeared content to remain standing in the cold forever, stomping up and down and smiling in the snow.

When did I turn bitter? When did I stop appreciating beauty?  When did it happen to you?

Sometimes I wish we could all see the world as young children see it.  We would be more appreciative, and more grateful.  We would have more moments filled with awe and wonder, and absolute, unmitigated joy – pure joy. 

We could forget the evils we know and the worries that consume our minds and be content to stay in one place smiling and relishing the moment.  We need to allow ourselves to see the world through the eyes of children so that we can know more of love.  

6 comments:

  1. this.... this is exactly what i LOVE SO MUCH about being a mom. seeing everything thru her eyes. it's a beautiful life, it really really is. yes there's icky crap, but there's SO MUCH beauty, too.

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    1. I hear you and I know it. So much beauty!

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  2. I miss seeing things through a child's eyes! My kids are now BIG kids. One of my very favorite feelings in the world is wonderment! I love it! And what I want to do is "be content to stay in one place smiling and relishing the moment." Can I use that phrase on my blog sometime giving you wonderful credit? It truly expresses how I feel.

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    1. Gina -- you may absolutely use that phrase. I feel honored that my words captured your feelings so well. :)

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  3. I think the older we get and the more innocence we lose the less beauty we see in the world. I often try to go on walks in the woods; I’ll stop and watch a squirrel rustle around until no longer visible, I’ll set my eyes on a leaf dancing in the wind until it lands on the ground, I’ll close my eyes and listen to every sound in the woods soaking it all in. Every time I do this I always find a smile on my face. I’ve tried exposing other people to this unappreciated wonder that we take for granted but they never get it….always on their phone, saddens me because it’s the most therapeutic thing I think anyone can do.

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  4. That's one of the most precious things children have to offer us---that look of wonder and amazement. They teach us what really has value in this world.

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