I have this book called, The Artist’s Way Every Day. The book offers one insight for each of the 365 days in a year. An insight to encourage, challenge, inspire, or provoke the reader toward greater creativity. Today I flipped open the book and my eyes landed on this statement: “Life is made of small sweetnesses, and they come to us when we are willing to be little, instead of big.”
Immediately, I knew what it meant.
It’s a funny thing when you become a parent. After months of anticipation a tiny, slippery stranger is placed on your chest and you think, I’m going to introduce you to the world. And for awhile you do. You help to “train” these little people about the ins and outs of eating, sleeping, walking, and pottying. But then, if you’re really paying attention, while those little people are still little, you realize, they have a thing or two to teach you. Somehow, if you let it happen. . . they can introduce you to the world.
No one ever told me about this little fact. And to be honest, I’m glad they didn’t. . . it would have ruined the surprise.
Just the other morning as we were enjoying breakfast Chanelle pointed out that we had visitors in our backyard. As quick as the words were out of her mouth Charlie had done his best impression of Michael Johnson and sprinted for his camera.
It took just a moment for Charlie to join me on the deck and hold his camera to his eye and attempt to snap away.
As I watched my five year old watch these little animals I was struck with the intensity of his attention. I observed his attempts to focus his lens toward these animals and realized that while I thought he had gotten this picture-taking thing from me. . . maybe it was the other way around. I have no doubt that if I would have been home alone, I would have never slowed down enough to even realize we had visitors.
These little people see the sweetness all around them. . . forcing me to do the same.
It snowed yesterday. Two days before April and the snow was hightailing it to the ground. I laughed when I noticed that every other Facebook status bemoaned this early spring snow storm while most of the others cursed our home state.
None of that was happening in our house, though. Not with two little people who had their buckets and spoons ready to play. They did their scoop, gather, dump, melt routine and the only sounds were giggles of delight coming from the kitchen.
I love the times when they are immersed in their own creativity. As they transferred snow from our deck to the sink I left them alone while I put away laundry in the bedrooms. After a few minutes went by I noticed the fast pitter-patter of little feet running back and forth from one end of the house to the other. I didn’t pay much attention until I got a glimpse of Chanelle and realized she was soaking wet. When I asked what they were doing, she informed me that “we are sticking our head in the water.”
|This would be his “uh-oh, am I going to get in trouble face?”|
When I walked into the kitchen I found Charlie trying to quickly mop up the mess they had made, while Chanelle continued to see what it was like to dunk her head in a sink full of water. For a moment I thought of reprimanding them and explaining to them that we don’t fill the sink with water and stick our heads in it, but I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth before I started laughing. . . and then he started laughing. . .
And it was one of those moments of pure sweetness that I could have only seen though the eyes of little ones. And as I look over moments captured over the last few days I realize how true it is. These sweet moments only come when I allow myself to become little and let them show me really how fascinating the world is and how everything is an invitation to discovery. . .
Games of How Tall Am I? are traded for games that teach numbers. Charlie began to understand what it mean to add and subtract and I could almost see the wheels turning in his head. He added fingers and took them away and his eyes lit up light fireflies as I congratulated him on right answers.
Without a doubt, I knew that this is what it’s all about. This learning, growing, discovering, understanding. These are the small sweetnesses that I somehow lose when I look through my adult eyes. Seeing the miracle in the mundane is unavoidable through these eyes. . .
|Beautiful flowers from my most wonderful MIL. . .|
Small sweetness? Check.
I wonder how many of these I miss when they are not in my company. How many of these moments sneak by me because I am took busy here or moving too fast there. I’m sure they are countless. For now. . . I’m thankful to have two of the best teachers in the world who continually let me see the sweet little moments through their most aware eyes. . .
. . . and I wish for all of us a weekend full of open eyes to see the small sweetnesses that make up this beautiful life.