As April comes to a close, we are finally enjoying some sun, warmth, and new life as the grass, flowers, plants, and trees begin to dress in their Spring wardrobe. The grayness of winter has subsided to bright yellows, pinks, green, and purples as the daffodils, cherry blossoms, new leaves, and violets begin to sprout from a slumbering earth. It’s only been a little over a week since the weather became warmer and the days longer (and even during that week, there were several days of cool, rainy weather that forced us indoors again…blast you, Michigan weather!!). But we have the most of the beautiful ones as best we can.
It’s a wonderful time to be outdoors with an almost-16-month-old…and so much fun!! Last year, he was a mere snippet of an almost-4-month-old, and could not fully appreciate the beautiful transition from Winter to Spring. But this year…well, I have discovered that experiencing the warming outdoors with a newly minted toddler, it changes my view of the world around me. I get to see the world through his eyes…and how vastly different that perspective is.
Everything is new and exciting:
Seriously…the littlest, most mundane things we rarely think twice about anymore is a cause for peals of screaming laughter and shouts of happy surprise. Life lessons are learned all over again (“Don’t put your finger in the burro’s mouth!!”). Even the items you see everyday at home become shockingly new when you see them en masse at the store. I have never seen anyone so mesmerized by baskets of fruit and bins of vegetables.
But to him, these are all “firsts,” and simply being there with him to experience these “firsts” makes life that much more beautiful and enjoyable. I just have to take the time to “be there” in the first place.
Everyone needs a hello (and goodbye):
Seriously…there are no strangers in this kid’s world. Everyone deserves a wave and “hello”…and then a wave and “bye-bye.” Of course, there will come a time where we must teach him about “stranger danger,” especially when he begins to venture further into the world…and further away from us. But for now, as we are there with him to protect him, he gets the chance to be open and free in his greetings to the rest of the world. There is no judgment, no prejudice, no fear of the different…everyone (and everyTHING) deserves respect and love. And he doesn’t even mind when they don’t say hello/bye-bye back to him (though they usually do).
Can you imagine…if we adults could be as openly friendly and loving to one another, no strings attached, what a wonderful world this would be?
Everywhere is the perfect place to be (as long as mom/dad is around):
One of the sweetest thing about being a parent is that there is a mini-person to whom I am the “bestest” being EVAR!! Waking up in the morning, greeted with the biggest smile and sweetest laugh…there is no alarm clock on earth that can beat it. And since I am now the “bestest” being EVAR, no matter where we go, this mini-person believes it to be “bestest”place EVAR…just because you are with them, spending time with them, and taking them on this new adventure.
Seriously…who knew that walking through a parking lot, a hospital lobby, a local bookstore, or even the front yard would be such a thrilling event? I certainly didn’t…until I went with someone who simply enjoys going anywhere in my company.
There is truly no substitute for time spent together with our little one…for him and for us.
So the takeaway from this edition of “A Month of Motherhood”? Simply that being able to see the world again through the eyes of a toddler makes for some of the sweetest, most beautiful moments. Taking time to explore and experience life with someone doing a lot of it for the first time gives us a chance to relive those precious moments. I know that time is not always a luxury that everyone has to give to their children – needing to work long hours to provide the basic needs is a real thing. But even if it’s only for a few moments of your day, connecting and exploring with one’s child can make a world of difference…not only in the child’s life, but also in your own.