Sunday, April 3, 2011


My son is two and a half.  Naturally, he’s a super child.  He never runs around the house like a crazy person, cooped up for what can only seem like a lifetime. (Here in Minnesota, they call it winter.)  He’s always perfectly obedient and never ever does the complete opposite of what he is told to do.  He never ever is too rough with his baby sister or fights naps or bedtime.  He never throws anything he isn’t supposed to throw.  He eats everything we set down before him and he never ever throws a fit, when we have to leave somewhere fun.  But of course, all two year old are perfect specimens of manners, grace, and good behavior.  Two is a lovely age.  I just don’t know why children can’t stay two forever and always.
But honestly.
I know I’m not the first or last parent to say this, but one of the remarkable things about having children is discovering the world all over again, through their perspective.  We are so accustomed to life, the everyday normal can become mundane, but for a child, it’s all new and it’s all magic.
For example…
No one tells them they are supposed to sing along when they hear music, it’s just natural…. and they begin to hear music everywhere.  Last night, as I tucked him into bed and sang, Moon River (our nightly lullaby), he started singing along as he quietly drifted into sleep.  Riding in the car, watching television, or just playing at home, when he hears music, he joins in with a song of his own.  Children are not good at being spectators.  They are doers. 
Yesterday, when the weather was finally pleasant enough for a cool spring walk, he happily donned his jacket and rain boots (it’s a wet and mushy world out there).  Of course, he spotted the perfect stick and stopped to pick it up. He carried it for the rest of the walk and into the house.  Every kid knows a good stick when they see one.  Not wearing my own bright pink wellies, I avoided the puddles, but he instinctively sloshed and splashed, laughing all the while.   It was delightful and I wondered why I didn’t think to wear my own, so I could splash along with him.  Not once did he see a dirty pile of water that most adults would avoid, he saw instead, a world of fun.  In the movie, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, the accountant (mutant), Jason Bateman sees the world full of things just as they are. It’s just a bench. It’s just a hat. It’s just a toy store. To children, nothing is just what it is, it can be anything and everything. Children are possibilitarians.
Having children around allows you to find celebration in that which you might overlook.  As we ever so slowly begin to see signs of this eternal winter packing its bags, it’s still easy to feel like spring will never arrive.  The earth is filled with spiny, bare trees and dull brown vegetation and there are still small mountains of dirty snow assaulting our eyes, here and there.  But, that two year old, he doesn’t focus on the snow, he hears the birds and every time he does, he lets us know.  His delightful little voice proclaims with excitement each spotting, “bird, bird, bird!” (As if each one fills his little soul with life and joy.)  And he wants us to celebrate each bird too.  Sometimes, it’s like okay kid, enough birds already… but really, if you think about it, the presence of the birds mean that spring is really coming and after this winter, this luminous and oppressive winter, maybe we should get more excited about the birds.

1 comment:

  1. I love that "Moon River" is your nightly lullaby. I had that song stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG about 2 weeks ago. The hubs couldn't understand why. I couldn't understand why he didn't enjoy it. But then, some say I'm an "old soul" so perhaps I appreciate things a little differently than others. ;)



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