It’s amazing what fascinates children. My 16 month old is in that phase were everything is a new discovery. When I’m down on the grass, at her height, I remember all those things I forgot to appreciate about life.
How soft new-growth pine needles feel.
Like rubber, they merely bend between your fingers, unlike their older, sharper counterparts.
Each flower is an amazing gift.
Fuschia, deep violet, pristine white, indigo, bright yellow… colours have never seemed so beautiful when you’re nose to nose with a brilliant petunia.
Sand is still fun.
Okay, while sand may not taste as good as my daughter seems to think, it is as FUN as it was when you’re six. No matter what age you are, building sandcastles is ingrained in your DNA. Try it at the beach one day. Can’t leave? I thought so. Not only is it a challenge, but once you successfully build one sand castle, you want to build a hundred, an empire, not only to demonstrate how powerful and creative you are, but to claim your spot in the minds of others. They’ll see your sand castle. They may even destroy it. But they’ll remember it.
Bugs are cool.
Need I say more? Get up close to a bug. A caterpillar, maybe. Watch it move. Its dozens of legs, the contracting of its body as it moves. Look at a furry, black, jumping spider. If you can. Do you ever wonder how it’s able to jump at your head with such little effort? And the ant. The strongest creature on the planet for its size. Watch them carry those breadcrumbs from your hamburger across the garden, up large sticks of mulch, down into deep, dark precipices, and then back up again. All while carrying a piece of food ten times their size over their head. Amazing.
Water is fun.
It’s been 32 Celsius here the last two days, not accounting for the humidex. Despite the heat, it’s hard for many of us to jump into a sprinkler or through the garden hose stream. We either don’t like to be wet, don’t want to have to change our clothes, or are just plain old sticks in the mud. I fall into the first category. Well, while watering my flowers, my daughter showed me that it’s fun to stick your arm in the water, it’s refreshing. And while her clothes were soaked, she still wanted more of it. I sprayed the hose up in the air so that it rained cool water down on us. It felt great.
Helping others is fun and rewarding.
Leave it to children to remind us of this. I strategically left an empty laundry basket for her while I carried a full one inside, and I asked her to bring it in. There was no way she’d pass this up. Despite her dropping it, tripping over it, falling in it, she was determined to bring it in. Hand her a cloth. She’ll clean the table for you. Or the fridge. She just wants to help. Remember how good it feels to help someone for no reason at all?
Toe nail polish.
It’s quick, easy, you look good, and most of all, it’s PRETTY! Enjoy the simpler things in life. Give yourself a quick pedi while you sit on the deck in the sun. Use a sparkly nail polish. It’ll twinkle in the sunlight.
A smile is contagious.
So is a frown. Smile at my daughter, she’ll smile back. For no reason at all. Frown at her, and she’ll give you a mean look back, or make the “uh oh” face, her mouth contracted into an ‘o’. She doesn’t necessarily understand why we’re giving her these faces, but she imitates them nonetheless. This is human instinct. Even if you’re having a bad day, smile at someone. You’ll feel better, too. Meeting up with someone for lunch? If you’re frowning, they’re bound to be frowning within minutes, too.
Having two of things is way better than just one.
Isn’t it, though? Two of your favourite shirts? Two desserts? Two fancy cars? Two slices of pizza? Two day weekends? Two cups of coffee? Two friends? Unless it’s two rattlesnakes cornering you in a tent, or two vampires threatening to suck the blood from your neck while you sleep, two is almost always better.
Learning is fun.
Remember that day in biology class, that day where you actually understood what the teacher was saying? Or that day your dad taught you how to use the video camera? Or the day you learned to ride a bike? Remember how good you felt? How fun it was? You wanted to keep on learning new things? Don’t stop learning just because you’ve been to school and have a family. Expand your horizons. Want to learn how to decorate a cake? Go for it. Want to learn to drive an ATV? What’s stopping you? Want to learn how capable you are with tools? There’s nothing to stop you but yourself. Take that drill, make a hole in the tree, screw in some hooks, and put up that swing. You can do it. If I can, so can you. Trial and error is also a form of learning, don’t forget.
What other things did you forget to remember?