Curiosity and wonder are good things, yet as (choose your adjective–boring, routine, focused, busy) adults, we can miss out or even squash them when they are in front of us. Of course we don’t think of ourselves as unimaginative or not easily inspired, but when it comes to being taken by a moment of joy in exploring even the simple things of life, adults don’t come close to measuring up to kids. Moreover, we can be quick to redirect kids to tasks or a state of mind much less exciting than the delight of their moment that might be driving us a bit crazy.
This morning as I was getting ready for work and the kids were getting ready for school, they got a bit distracted from brushing teeth and finding socks with the fun of turning the lights off and on and watching their pupils respond. They bounced into my bathroom, where I was planning out each second in my mind to get out the door on time and began telling me about this with exuberance and continuing to demonstrate in my bathroom. Lights out, I can’t see a thing, my eyes adjust enough to carry on with my routine, lights on, repeat. As the urge to tell them to stop, get ready for school, and let me get back to my own prep for the day began to rise in me, I just stopped. I waited and let them carry on. Eventually they stopped. We all still got ready. My slight annoyance was their bit of morning giddiness. And the day was better for it.
This isn’t how it always goes. I know there are also times when we (and our kids) need to stay on track–particularly after the 18th time of asking them to do a simple task. But that’s not always. As I think about this moment, my focus is on my habit. I don’t need an automatic response for moments when the kids are getting a bit crazy or causing a minor disruption. These are moments for calm and thoughtfulness that might even yield more joy for my day. After all, we can all use a little more curiosity and wonder, and more often, we should even let ourselves be taken by the moment.