As a parent, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can teach my kids and help them grow into happy, healthy, thoughtful, and kind adults. It’s humbling to realize how little control I have over the choices they make and the challenges that come their way. Thankfully, this realization is tempered by the many parenting discoveries my children provide – rich and rewarding lessons that transform my life.
Our California drought is as severe as ever, but we were treated to a delightful rain storm while visiting Gramma in desert Nevada. Anna was amazed at the sight of water falling from the sky, and watching her live in the moment was magical.
As an adult, being in the rain is generally considered annoying, and to be avoided wherever possible. Anna embraced the experience, and as she did I got to relive my own childhood – the sensation of feeling the rain drops on your head, and the satisfaction of bare feet splashing in rain water.
Children make life unpredictable. They can feel demanding, and the sleep deprivation really chips away at adult productivity. I say it’s a bargain trade for the gift of experiencing life in the moment. As parents, we shoulder responsibility, but in exchange we can relive childhood with a new level of understanding and deeper appreciation.
When did you last truly feel rain on your head? Have you listened to rain lately? Smelled rain? Smelled sunshine? This week, I challenge you: take moment to slow down and experience life at a toddlers space. What does it look like when you chop vegetables for dinner? Wash your hands? Pull clean and warm clothes out of the dryer? Curiosity is the key to both living and learning, and it’s one piece of life that busyness often shoves aside. Make room. And, if you are lucky enough to have little people in your life, prioritize time for hugs, books read at their pace, and silly faces. They grow up fast.