Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had the enthusiasm, energy and wonder about all things in life as small children do? Everything they do, they do with everything they have in them. They laugh from the depths of their soul, run as if they have places to go that the rest of us do not know about, cry as if a dropped toy will break their hearts, but the sun comes out again when they pick it back up. All they want in this entire world is for the people they love to love them back, for snuggles when they are tired, a shoulder to lean on when the running has exhausted them, and of course fun snacks and a clean diaper – and that last one is debatable, since sometimes a mess in the pants is worthwhile if it means you are having fun doing something else.
If all of our days could be major adventures that grab our attention and enthusiasm with the changing colors all around us, the beat and rhythm of music, the song of the birds or popping bubbles blowing in the breeze, wouldn’t life be wonderful indeed? If we could laugh our heads off over repeated duties at work like a child does with the same silly joke over and over, we would all probably live happier lives. If a single cookie could make everything right with our world in that moment in time, what a miraculous world it would be!
We just spent a few days with our 2-1/2 year-old grandson, who has such an amazing way at moving through the world. Admittedly, we are two very exhausted Grandparents, but at the same time we are filled with wonder that can only come from spending time with a small person who hasn’t been jaded by the crud that perpetually swirls around us in the grown up world. The swings from giddy, happiness to meltdown madness, and back again, are testimony to the trauma that comes with being two and three years old. Too little to be independent, but wanting to do things all by themselves pulling at their developing mental, physical and emotional muscles. It can often be so exhausting to the grown-ups who just want life to be a perpetual road filled with giggles, but these moments are so necessary to helping a child along the road to being a responsible, independent, strong adult. Catering to the happy only, or creating an environment that doesn’t allow for the learning moments that are created by disappointment or frustration creates generations of spineless, gender confused mind-numbed zombies that can’t stand up on their own two feet when called upon to do so by life. I found myself snickering at the moaned “Ooooh nooo!” when a toy hit the floor, accompanied by tears, and followed immediately by giggles over something that was a distraction from the trauma. Letting him cry it out isn’t easy to do because we just want the little guy to be happy all the time, but that isn’t reality.
Would it not be wonderful if we, as adults, could throw ourselves to the floor, kicking and screaming over whatever ails us to just get it out of our systems and move past it? I’ve worked with someone who does that, and as disturbing as it was to me, I suppose for her it was a freeing experience. I just hope it doesn’t happen again in the office! There is something to be said for not bottling everything up though – perhaps little kids have something genetically programmed to work out the issues and we, as adults, have just worked at making them stop, when with the right guidance they will naturally grow out of it and direct their emotions in a more appropriate direction.
Children celebrate every moment of life, every single day. The adults who are fortunate enough to be in their periphery get to celebrate it with them, through each growing moment, each thing they learn, all of the firsts that happen along the way. The bumped knees, scrapes and bruises, the sticky fingers and faces, the splashes in the bath, the giggles on the playground, the beautiful dandelions they pick for Gramma to put into a vase. All of these moments, and so many more, are incredibly precious in every way. Celebrate life like a child today, enjoy every little moment as if you are seeing or experiencing it for the first time.
God bless you and I’ll see you soon.