I took C on a walk to our local library a couple days ago. It's about a mile away from our house. I was kind of in a hurry, wanting to make it 'exercise' and all the sudden I looked down at C and noticed how much he was looking around and taking in all in. Smiling when the wind blew his hair and pointing at dogs and cars.
It made me smile. I suddenly noticed colorful leaves on the ground. I stopped the stroller and picked one up and handed it to C. He got the biggest smile on his face and waved it around like a flag.
I suddenly was taken back to my childhood. I had a dad that would take us on walks on a local nature trail every weekend that we had nice weather
. We would stop and cross a creek, explore a 'secret' meadow, collect leaves while he would explain to us how to tell the difference between an oak and maple, he would show us the 'Queen' Ant in Queen Ann's Lace, and teach us how to open up Sycamore pods and find the seeds that you could plant and actually grow a tree. We would collect cicada shells, make grass whistles, collect and press leaves and flowers, and plant vegetable seeds.
Not only did my dad teach me an appreciation for nature and the God that created it, but he taught me to enjoy the little things in life, to pay attention to small details.
This is the type of parent I want to be. I want to celebrate and encourage my children's child-like awe and wonder of the world around them. I want them to imagine, create, and explore.
I never want to be so busy and preoccupied that I don't notice the beauty of the world around and take the time to share that beauty with my children.
A saying that is a motto for my husband and I is: "The little things are really the big things." What it means to us is that the little things (grocery shopping together, evening walks, taking C to the park, sitting on the couch drinking hot cocoa and talking, working on the yard together, etc...) are really the things that make life special. They are the things that really matter.