I have been open to watching and learning from the kids around me this week.  Seeing how kids can adapt and find enjoyment in almost any situation reminded me of an incident I experienced with my son almost seven years ago.

It was a June afternoon and I was rushing through my to-do list.  Some weeds had begun to pop up in the front flower beds, so I was outside weeding with my 21 month old son.  “Yawlin” soon lost interest in the green things Mommy was pulling out of the ground and went to investigate the sprinkler and hose that were giving a dry patch of lawn a good drink.  The water only spouted as high as his hips and was, therefore, a great temptation to him.

“Yawlin, don’t you get wet,” I called over my shoulder.  I was in a hurry to get the hated chore done so that I could finally relax.  Weed after weed got yanked.  Occasionally I would glance at my son who was inching closer and closer to the water.  He was watching me like a prison guard.  Whenever I looked in his direction he would stop and give me the stare down.  I soon realized that a toddler type drama was about to occur and decided to watch it unfold.  The weeds could wait.

I pretended to work and watched my son bend down and pick up a length of hose.  He pulled it so that the sprinkler was a little closer and then dropped it and looked in my direction.  Mommy was still weeding.  Again he picked up the hose and pulled the sprinkler a little closer to himself.  He looked at Mommy.  His plan was working!  After about five of these efforts he finally had the sprinkler in grabbing position, which he managed to do without getting too wet.

Holding the sprinkler out the length of his chubby little arm my son proceeded to water the sidewalk.  Eventually he tired of watering cement.  The water coming out of the little holes was too fascinating.  He decided to examine them closer.  The unmerciful water sprayed him full in the face.  Gasping from cold and shock he started to run.  Unfortunately, the message from his brain to his hand to drop the hose got intercepted somewhere along the way.  So, he ran holding the spray to his face, completely unable to escape it.

I then committed the no-no of all mother rules.  I laughed.  I was still laughing as I hurried over to help my poor soggy boy.  My laughing must have triggered his arm’s reflex motion because he finally lowered the water from his face.  He looked at me with a bewildered expression that only a toddler can produce.  Mommy was laughing, so it must be okay.  He smiled, then let out a squeal, and turned the hose on me.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, as adults, could look at life’s little mishaps with a bit of laughter?  Can we maintain the same curiosity?  I tend to forget and let my concerns take center stage.  I forget to laugh.  I get caught up in my to-do list and rush to get things done.  Taking the time that night years ago to watch my son play and learn taught me to regain the laughter and curiosity.  Watching kids this week reminded me what I had learned once before.  Let go, live in the moment, and enjoy it! 

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