When You’re Looking Through Your Children’s Eyes
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are in Seattle on a little vacation, staying with my in laws. And so far we are all having such a blast. There is just something so special and heart warming about watching your child’s reaction when they first see something new, or fun or exciting. It honestly gives me more happiness watching my toddler’s face light up with pure joy and excitement than for when I get excited about something.
It’s funny how your perspective changes when you are looking at something through your child’s eyes. We went on a really fun walk today around The Cove in Normandy Park, Washington. And it was so sweet watching my toddler point out literally everything that she saw. “Wook! (look) a bird! Wook at all these seashells!” And as we walked on the beach she’d tug my mother in law’s hand and demand to “follow the crabbies down to the ocean”. And we’re on vacation, so we’re already taking things slow. But watching her light up at different exciting things she saw really made me enjoy it all even more. I found myself taking in more details than I would have otherwise. When she was ooh’ing and aah’ing over the different colored sea shells, my first instinct was to point out the clams that were squirting water into the air. But I made myself stop and let her look at things at her own pace. Which made me take in more things too.
There’s just something so truly beautiful about childhood curiosity and their need to explore. It reminded me of when I was little and how I would want to play and pretend everywhere I went. Watching my toddler squeal at the ducks and throw as many stones as she could into a stream really made me so very happy, because I know she will soon grow older and lose interest in these types of simple things. Now, I am fine with her watching some cartoons if I need a quick distraction so I can make dinner, or get her baby brother down for a nap, or if she’s sick and needs to just relax and stay on the couch a little bit; grateful even. But today also reminded me to try getting outdoors more. When I was little, all I wanted to do was to go outside and play pretend, and make mud pies, and crush up flower petals to make “homemade perfume”, or squeeze a ton of lemons and make lemonade. It was so nice watching my little girl flit around from sea shell collecting, to attempting to feed some moss to the ducks, to walking through “the forest”, as she called it, pick and gobble up blackberries we found on the path, and hearing her make up stories about a bear, whale, snake, and lion all coming after us. There was a lot of running. Mama is not in running shape. Naps are a must today. Haha.
Overall, it was just a really nice reminder to literally slow down and smell the flowers. Usually I find myself rushing a lot of the time. “Have to change the baby, toddler needs breakfast, gotta load up on sunscreen for a park play date, don’t forget the snacks, oops I’m not wearing shoes, load everyone up in the van, ok now where is my wallet” type of rush. And maybe it’s something about a change of scenery or maybe it’s because we’re on vacation but it was just so nice to explore at leisure. I found myself reaching out to hold my husband’s hand more, something we used to do all the time before we had two little ones. Now one of us usually has a baby on our hip and the other is holding our toddler’s hand. And I love holding my baby and my toddler, but it was also nice to reconnect with my husband too and take in the sights. And watching my toddler absorb all the different sights and sounds (she was super interested in hearing crab noises? Ha!), just really made me take a deep breath and take a step back to enjoy it all. Yes, nap times aren’t on their usual schedule, and yes, meal times are also a little off; but we’re all surviving. And truly having a lot of fun. So I’d like to encourage you all to go on a little adventure! Explore, go on a picnic, maybe a small hike or a walk. I know that sometimes it’s hard for me to go outside of my comfort zone because with two kiddos under 3, I run a tight ship to make everything work. But today, through my toddler’s eyes, I realized it’s also ok to stop to smell the flowers. And it may sound cliche, but I honestly believe it’s good the for the soul. Happy Saturday everyone!