I love little childrens' ability to relax, take their time, and absorb. Their awesome ability to observe. Their enviable ability to take things in, appreciating every common-yet-fascinating object around them.
Infants are great at this, of course. Not a care in the world, just an innate need to touch everything, stimulating all their senses to figure out what exactly this new toy or body part can do.
But as toddlers, there's still plenty of slow, deliberate observation to unfold. Lots of Who, What, Where, When and Why questions for parents to answer. Still lots for their little minds to not only discover but also to invent. Wild, elaborate stories to tell, tea parties to hold with the neighborhood teddies and dollies, and nighttime "stories" to excitedly relate each morning to Mommy and Daddy.
My daughter is constantly amazing us each day with all the information in her head that she's been able to process and retain.
After showing her, just once, all the pegasuses in her I Spy book, she's now able to easily find them - even after weeks of not looking at the book at all.
After a bit of trial and error, she now understands how to play matching games. No longer turning over the same two cards every time, she's now remembering where matches are and often winning the most matches per game.
And, upon hearing a classical music CD commercial on the T.V., her little ears are so in tune with the sound that she instantly recognizes it as music heard on The Little Einstein.
Yes, little children are moody and fickle. One moment sweet as pie, the next a screaming banshee. They can be stubborn - insisting that they will not get dress this morning even though Mommy and Daddy have to leave for work in two minutes. And they often insist on immediate satisfaction - I just put the Band-Aid on, why does my owie still hurt?
All this can definitely be endlessly frustrating to the parents who need to work fast, get things done and move on with their day. I know. That's been me on more occasions than I'd like to admit.
But through it all, I do try to stop, take a deep breath, and see the world through her eyes. Try to take some time with her to answer her questions and to point out even more fascinating things about the book we're reading, the game we're playing, or the many colorful objects we see on our journey.
We all would do well to do the same - with children in our lives or not. How nice it would be to breath deeper, wonder more, and saunter as purposely or aimlessly as we please through this exciting, happy, interesting life.