Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Child's Curiosity - Lesson Two

What a wonderful weekend. I think that I watched my oldest grow overnight.

On Sunday, while dad and the littlest one napped. I walked with E down to the construction site by our house. I have no idea what they are actually doing, looks like adding some drainage pipes of some sort, but E didn't care. He was amazed by the trucks... and the dirt. We spent as much time as he wanted (almost) looking at and talking about the trucks, tires and tracks, scoops, controls, steering wheels, colors,  and rust on each piece of equipment. He spent 45 minutes tossing dirt clods that he either pulled off the wheels or peeled  off the tracks on the street. We watched them explode into pieces and talked about their size, weight, shape, texture, and smell. He kept telling me, "I'm having soooo much fun, mommy."

And he was.

And I was playing with him some, but mostly I was watching him explore. All the things that we take for granted, or just gloss over, were interesting to him. He was interested in the fact that the dirt on top was "dry dirt" and when he flipped it over it was "mud". He noticed that the tracks made in the mud by the construction equipment had a very similar pattern to the tread on his toy monster trucks at home. He noticed that the rust was only on certain sides of the trucks, that some wheels were much bigger than others, that the "construction guys" must be on a lunch break (on Sunday at 3:30p) and that they still had work to do. He observed that he was warmer when the sun would come out from behind the clouds. He was perfectly content to be right in the moment. And surprisingly, so was I. The sun did feel wonderful after a winter of frigid wind chills. Neither of us was trying to be perfectly present, we just were. This is how E, at three and a half years old, feels most of the time. Adults, not so much.

He was teaching me to attend to the here and now without thinking about it. Only later, when I thought back on it, did I realize how peaceful that was. Sure, there is always a pile of dirty dishes on the counter or a load of laundry in the washer that needs to be hung up but to be able to be present with him in the sun, playing with clumps of dirt, was easy.

I spent this week trying to do more of this at home and at work. Trying to take whatever I was doing at that moment, seeing a patient, giving the baby a bath, making dinner, reading a story, and making it important and focused, and wouldn't you know, that little boy was right again. Of course he was, teaching his mom lesson after lesson, so long as she is open enough to receive them. Life IS the present. Worrying about the things that need to be done and the amount of time (or lack thereof) to do them in doesn't change anything. I learned that everything gets done and that I am so much more focused and engaged when I am present.

Well done, E, well done.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a lovely reminder to stay in the moment. I also love all the things E learned in an everyday moment with a Mother who understands his his curiosity. Three cheers for dirt over electronics.