Tonight on the way up the stairs for the nightly before-bed-diaper-change, I stopped for a moment to just watch my son take in his world. Ev loves climbing up the stairs, a simple everyday task that most of us don’t think twice about. But not Ev. He likes to stop about 3/4 of the way up, and tries to stick his head between the slats. And then he starts to giggle and giggle and giggle. Tonight, I caught him looking out and inspecting the chandelier that hangs just a few feet from the staircase. He even reached out through the slats and tried to see if he could reach it. Then he played peek-a-boo with me through the slats and was just laughing and laughing and I found myself smiling so big my cheeks hurt.
I know it is such a cliche but one of the coolest things about being a parent is seeing the world through your child’s eyes. That is, if you slow down long enough to be able to do so. And if you do, you’ll realize how much awesomeness there is out there that we miss everyday. Like crawling up stairs, playing peek-a-boo, hiding and seeking…how a simple cardboard box can provide hours and hours of entertainment.
Earlier in the evening I was able to see the world for a while though my daughter’s eyes too. I was sitting down on the couch breastfeeding Ev before starting dinner. My daughter E comes over and starts pulling his pants down. I gave her a puzzled look and she responded matter-of-factually “I’m giving Everett his boo-boo shot.”
Well, duh mom.
So…she ever-so-gently takes a baby wipe and wipes off his leg (we always clean her leg prior to giving her her shot with anti bacterial soap). While doing this she says “It’s OK Everett, it’s OK, its going to hurt” in this sweet, kind and caring tone.
She then gets her “syringe” (aka a play knife that came with her
Princess Tea Set) and presses it against his skin, administering his “boo boo shot.” “Everett, stay still. Don’t move buddy.” When she is done, she quickly grabs her baby wipe and presses firmly against his skin, just like daddy does on her. Then, she looks at me and says “Mama, hold this” and gives me the wipe to hold against Everett’s leg-just like when daddy hands it to me after her shot so he can dispose of the syringe and needle.
Tonight I took a few minutes to see life through my each of my child’s eyes. My son reminded me that there is so much fun to be had if I just slow down and open my eyes. He reminded me that we can find wonder in the smallest and simplest of things.
And then…my daughter reminded me that her world includes pain, doctors appointments, and daily medications. In the busy everyday we sometimes forget that our child actually suffers from a chronic disease. However, she also showed me today that living this not-so-perfect life of injections, therapies, and blood draws is shaping her into a very kind and compassionate young girl. She is ever-so-gentle when she gives her baby brother, her babies, or her daddy a “boo boo shot” and she made sure today that I held her bear just the right way after her shot to make her feel better. “No mama, hold her this way, she’s crying.”
My son and daughter showed me today that even on the worst days there is beauty, kindness, and wonder in the world. And I needed the reminder. I need to slow down and see life through their eyes more often. This week, I am so very thankful for my children and the lessons they are teaching me about the world and this life.
May you all slow down this Thanksgiving week and see the world a little differently.