Have you ever stopped to notice children at play? To observe how they interact with the world around them? While caring for my brother’s kids these past two weeks, I couldn’t help but notice the simple joy of a child.
Perhaps it stood out because we don’t yet have children of our own?
Over and over again, I noticed their delight in life.
Apples were consumed with great relish while juices ran unnoticed down little chins. Socks were removed and stuffed with plums so they could ‘carry more home.’ Bird feathers were randomly gathered up for a ‘collection.’
There was happy, childish chatter, without any worry of who was listening. When the dress up box made appearance, all sorts of stories came to life in their vivid little minds! Evening walks combined with star tipping led to joyful peals of laughter as they stumbled and tumbled in their dizziness.
The river rocks, minnows, songbirds, squirrels and even the thieving skunk in the bird pen was given utmost interest.
The simple joy of a child. They live for now, without worrying about who’s watching, what’s coming or potentially could be. Instead, they seem to posses a special trait of living fully in the moment before them.
It causes me to stop and ponder my own life.
Most people see me as dependable. Steady. Logical. Living a life of order.
It’s a strength, to be sure! But right now, the words are echoing in my mind: “your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.”
And I realize the simple joy of a children is my gentle rebuke. How often…how often do I take time to soak in life around me? To fully live in the moment at hand?
In this season of life, my to-do list is a mile long. It’s easy to hop from one project to another as fast as I can!
The simple joy of the children is a gently whispered reminder. Sometimes, it isn’t about the to-do list. About accomplishments. Reaching my goals.
I recognize my need for the child’s way. One of my favorite quotes resounds in my mind this evening as I sit here and write:
“Enjoy the little things in life, because one day, you’ll look back and realize they were the big things” (Robert Brault).
I want to live a full life, to live well. And the children? They show me how!