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Little Kid Eyes

December 1, 2010 - Betsy Bethel
One of the joys of parenthood is seeing the world through little kid eyes again.

It's not always convenient or easy to appreciate my daughter's perspective. Sometimes I don't relish the fact she wants nothing more in the world than my undivided attention every waking minute. And it can be difficult to symphathize with tears shed over something I don't find sad at all. For instance, last night she cried and cried because the power was restored at our house before we got home; she felt cheated out of the fun of a having a "blackout." (So, of course, we pretended. I read her a book and she brushed her teeth by flashlight.)

But most times, it's invigorating to watch her react with glee over simple things we take for granted. This morning, when she didn't want to get out of bed, and then I told her it was snowing ... she leapt up so fast I thought she might have whiplash. It made my day to listen to her exclaim, "It's snowing! FINALLY! Now I could build a snowman and go sledding on my saucer! Oh, finally, it's snowing!" She ran into the bathroom where her daddy was showering: "Daddy! It's snowing!" She didn't even complain when I told her there wouldn't be enough snow to build a snowman or go sledding today. "That's OK, Mom, there WILL be if it KEEPS snowing!" she said.

For her, it's as if Christmas has arrived. After all, just a couple weeks ago when I asked her why she was looking forward to Christmas, she answered without hesitation: "Snow!"

Taking her to the synthetic ice rink during the Winterfest in downtown Wheeling last weekend was another example. She and the other kids of all ages really got a kick (not to mention a few bumps and bruises) out of skate-stomping around that small rectangle of plastic. When she noticed that the rink was made of interlocking pieces, she shouted: "Look, it's a puzzle!"

I'm reminded of Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance," the first line of which is "I hope you never lose that sense of wonder." These truly are the "wonder years." And I hope every parent feels as blessed as I do to be able to experience them all over again while raising their children.


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