I’m rocking my 9 month old to sleep and he’s so fascinated by his toes that he exhausts himself in an attempt to eat them. He becomes increasingly frustrated as he realizes his alien pajamas are stuck on his feet and his toes will have to wait until tomorrow to be eaten. When he rises in the morning his head will pop up, his hair will stick out in a million different directions, and his blue eyes will grow wide with his grin. He will hold his hands out in front of him and turn them from side to side, amazement growing as he draws a conclusion to his investigation: the hands made it through another night.
A few hours into his day he’ll grow fussy as he scrubs his eyes vigorously with his tiny hands, but just one look at the T.V. remote and his whole day takes a turn. He realizes he finally gets to gnaw on the usually-forbidden treasure and he can’t help but perk up and find his second wind. The nap will eventually win, but when he wakes up he will again investigate the hand situation, and again be uncontrollably ecstatic that he still has his very own hands. And when he spots the shadow of those hands in the afternoon as the sun hits the recliner, he will wiggle those little hands back and forth, captivated by his own shadow. He lives in a constant state of wonder, mesmerized by all the small moments, never failing to see that life is one gigantic, incredible journey.
To him, it’s just that simple. Minus the days that his teeth are growing extra fast, he looks at every moment like it’s the best moment ever in the whole wide world. The little things he sees, the sound of our voices, the time he spends with us, the attention from strangers, his ability to move his hands and his feet, is nothing short of astonishing to him. And every day this stops me in my tracks.
How many days have I just gone through the motions, and how many times have I gone an entire 24 hours without allowing myself to embrace, with utter amazement, all the good in this life?
Day in and day out, he brings to my attention the simple miracle of having hands and the pure beauty of waking up. He sheds light on the importance of small moments, and makes me pause to take time to burn my supper so I can watch him eat his.
What I pray, is that he never loses this sense of wonder, and that I never forget how he has changed my perception of this journey I’m on. When the day comes that he may overlook the gift of every single breath, I pray he is introduced to the tiniest human, much like the one he is now, who will show him what he has shown me.