Children bring immeasurable joy into our lives. Let us treasure the precious moments we have with them, being present as they explore and discover the world.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” These are the wise words of a home-schooling mum, Angela Schwindt.
Currently, I have the joy of living with three of my grandchildren. One of my jobs at the dinner table is getting the youngest, who is three years of age, to eat his vegetables. This can be quite an undertaking.
He has not yet seen a Spiderman movie, but he proudly wears his Spiderman outfit as often as he is able. He has great regard for this superhero. Yesterday when he was refusing to eat his vegetables, I tried to point out that one of the reasons Spiderman is so strong is that he eats his vegetables.
Blaze, rather matter-of-factly, pointed out to me that Spiderman is not real. I quickly retorted that if he was real, he would eat his vegetables to stay strong. Thankfully, my convoluted logic won the day. With children, there is the quick and there is the dead.
My grandchildren play an imaginary game called “ants” with me. Usually, it starts off with me innocently seated at the dinner table and they creep up behind me and softly run up the middle of my back with their fingers.
I usually exclaim loudly, “My goodness me, I can feel there are ants in the house. Can anyone see the ants?” all the while looking all around but not behind me for the imaginary ants.
The giggles of the children behind my back always give the game away, and then this morphs into a game of catch the ants. This is really a standard game of hide-and-seek plus catch with an imaginary ant overlay. The squeals of joy from the children can last until bath time.
“With all the business of life, we can often forget what pleasures these children have brought into our lives. We often take for granted the extra individual dimensions they bring to our lives that make us develop into stronger, wiser, fuller adults with lives that have an even deeper sense of purpose because they are part of us, and we are part of them.
There is no way of honestly describing what happens to us when we allowed this incredible privilege of parenthood, and no words can truly express the love that we have for these children of ours as they come and change our whole world forever.
They open our eyes to things we would never see or understand without them to show us. Laurence Alma-Tadema once wrote:
“In summer, I am very glad we children are so small, for we can see a thousand things that men can’t see at all.”
Isn’t this so true, when we stop and listen, really listen to little ones, they open our minds up to a whole other world that we have forgotten or even missed altogether. Their imaginations are so fresh, and their level of expectation, even in the most simple things, is breathtaking.
What laughter and entertainment we receive from them just being inquisitive, playful little beings who are so full of wonder. I also really love sitting and listening to my teenage granddaughters, learning a whole new language as I had to when my children became teenagers.
Looking at life through their eyes and appreciating and enjoying life is so different for them. It’s different to what their parents experienced as adolescents and certainly different to my experience. Through them and my relationship with them, my life is so much richer.
I love what Desmond Tutu observed about children when he said,
“Children are a wonderful gift… They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things.”
Children are so good at seeing things just as they are and speaking it out with no complications and no filters. It can be embarrassing at times just how accurate and open they are, however, sometimes we adults need to learn not to be so complicated and just have a childlike view of life, so we appreciate the simple things more.
They often can forgive and move on so much quicker than we can because they don’t keep the accounts we do. Children add so much more to our lives than what they take; we often pay too much attention to what we have to give up for them and forget what they bring to our lives.
We as parents and grandparents are so critical to our children no matter what age they or we are, they make us relevant; just their existence gives us an important role in this world.
They are the hope and future of this world. The potential and the possibilities that are within them are astounding, and we all have the opportunity to nurture and develop each one of these precious little ones who were given to us…
I want to congratulate you all on your parenting, never lose sight of the wonder and privilege it is to be given this opportunity to create and develop your precious little miracle.
Enjoy them, stop and listen to them, laugh with them, play with them on their terms and be introduced to the world you would otherwise miss.”
If you don’t know how to play imaginary games with your children, sit down with your children and watch half a dozen episodes of Bluey with your children. The dad, Bandit, is constantly playing imaginary games with his children. He should be nominated for “Father of the Year”.
Yours for More Joy,