It’s funny how life puts you in these situations. Sunday morning I found myself out on a walk with my kiddos and Banana.
I love to let the kids take the lead on our walks. It gives me a chance to experience life as a kid again by just following them and doing whatever feels natural in the moment.
They have this sense of wonder and exploration about them. Anything can be turned into an adventure, and it’s a blast to experience life through their eyes.
On our just less than a mile walk home from my parents house, our first stop was a lake to skip some rocks. There’s something peaceful and calming as you concentrate so hard to bounce your rock across the water. I loved being able to crouch down next to Lia and show her how to throw her rock properly for maximum bouncification. And then explaining to all the kids about what type of rock bounces best. Then seeing Lia’s face light up when her rock finally bounced. Tiny glimpses of joy.
After we put our toes in the cold water, we trekked on. Off to the right, the horses by our house were up against the fence just begging us to come over and pat them on the head and feed them some of the tall grass that’s just beyond their reach. So we did. Usually we bring long carrots with us, and we’ll feed the horses, one carrot at a time, hoping they don’t get our fingers, but loving the fact we get to know we’re making their day.
Ava just loves horses. Hearing her squeal with delight every single time we see a horse makes me grin. I love watching the grin on her face as she gets near enough to rub the horses on the head. She’ll jump up and down a bit, before calming down. Then she’ll just pet each of the horses, letting them know that they’re special to her. Tiny glimpses of joy.
We spent about 5 minutes at the horses before one of the kids noticed the dandelions all around us. Of course, we had to pick a few and make some wishes. Tiny glimpses of joy.
“Did you close your eyes when you blew, dad?” Lia asked after I made my wish.
“Of course!” I replied, “Did you?” And then she smiles. Tiny glimpses of joy.
I love kids and how they switch gears so fast. Jumping from one thing to another, seeking the most happiness they can pull out of each moment.
One of my absolute favorite things about having kids is the conversations that start as something insignificant, and quickly turn into a chance to talk about some life lessons when I ask a random question.
The girls had ran ahead and left Max & I to chat. “So, what did you wish for?” I asked him.
“I can’t tell you what I wished for. I want to make sure it comes true,” Max replied.
“You know, I believe when we share our wishes and dreams with others, it brings us one step closer to seeing them come true. Just the act of saying our wishes out loud puts positive energy out into the world, and sets in motion things we might not ever see or even understand. So, what did you wish for?” I asked again.
“Well, I made two wishes. My first wish is for there to be no weapons and for people to start being kind to one another. My second wish was for everyone to start recycling more and taking care of Earth,” he said.
“Some big wishes you have there, buddy. Doesn’t it feel good to talk about them with someone? That’s what happens when we share our wishes and dreams with others, though. It starts conversations around making those things happen, and you never know when you’re going to meet someone who can help you make your wishes come true. You just never know.” And with that, we had made it home.
I don’t want to ever promise my kids things I can’t ensure happen, but I want to encourage them to keep wishing big. That’s how we teach our kids to change the world. We give them the support and gentle pushes they need to keep dreaming big. And help them with the confidence they need to stand up for what they believe in. To have the hard talks. and to do the hard things that are necessary to make lasting positive changes in the world. These conversations are important.
I often wonder how many of these conversations people miss out on (myself included), just because they have their phones out or are distracted by whatever worries are running through their heads (I have lots of worries, unfortunately). Sometimes I find myself locked deep in thought about something that ultimately doesn’t matter and then I notice I’m absent mindedly answering, “yep” or “uh-huh” to one of the kids and I don’t even have a clue as to what they said to me. How many tiny glimpses of joy have I missed?
That’s why it’s so important for me to stay as present as possible for my kids. I want to tap into that youthful energy they’re so good at sharing. I want to catch as many tiny glimpses of joy I possibly can. Just on this 25 minute walk home, I entered their world for a while, and caught myself dancing in that childlike wonder, and it was beautiful. I want more of that in my life.
What do you do in your life to tap into the childlike sense of wonder? I’d love to hear some stories of how your kids helped remind you to relax and live in the present moment…