Appreciating the Little Things

The every day mundane can suddenly seem magical with parenthood. Everything can feel better than it once did, from taking a walk through the park to anything you can remember, it just wasn’t as noteworthy as it is now while trailing behind or alongside those small, curious beings.

While grocery shopping, you hadn’t any reason to pick each fruit and explain it in such detail. When gardening, there was no need to weed and till with such care and diligence, demonstrating with vivid explanation of each move you made in the care of a flower. But now, with an inquisitive mind discovering new and wondrous things, life is unfolding itself as you both stop to smell the proverbial roses.

Watching your child take in that information, that’s so fresh and new to them, is quite awe inspiring and beautiful. It’s inspirational when you are able to acknowledge this genuine interest and caring; an interest and caring we are in danger of losing, as we become adults.

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As we grow into adulthood, thoughts and anxieties may cloud our mind. The ever-lasting to-do lists seem to mask our ability, at times, to appreciate the small things in life. But the child does not worry. At least, not to the extent as we adults do. They are still naïve to life’s tribulations and are more likely to ‘live in the moment’- to continue to find beauty in the most ordinary of places.

Watching your child pick up a stone alongside a river, you can get a sense of their imagination. You see their fascination with one of earth’s most treasured and ancient offerings; a stone. One of a million, but never one of the same. No two are alike as this tiny human, this very small child, recognizes its uniqueness, reflecting its own individuality within our own deferential eyes.

It’s as if by witnessing these curious little beings, that jadedness we carry that took years to mold slowly melts away. This may not be true for everyone, but speaking of those of us who have become cynical over time, without being aware of it, this can be cathartic.

Yet, here is this child, interested in the earth, in strangers, in the prickly fruit you pick up at the grocery store, with no concept of cynicism, sarcasm or fear.

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Children do not ask to be born in their body or chose their environment. But they are able to accept themselves for who they are at that very moment. No question of right or wrong or if they belong. Somehow they are instinctively able to teach their parent authenticity in its purest state. They welcome new adventures with open minds and the utmost of courage. They often don’t know what to be afraid of in the first place.

Ah, to be young and free. For with this sense of fearlessness, a small child will question all things without hesitation. They will see the world as a place of play, to discover, to uncover, to reveal what we have forgotten.

So as parents, as guardians of the new generation, when we see this type of curiosity blossom, we must often allow ourselves to forget that filtered mind that inevitably complicates our own visions and thoughts. We must see, through their eyes, how we began, as small, curious children, who were once excited to take life head-on regardless of what came our way.

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It’s a beautiful thing.

Really.

To appreciate the little things in life. To ‘smell that flowers’.

For children, it comes naturally. They are our teachers. They can show us a thing or two about keeping things simple. If you let them.

Give gratitude toward the everyday mundane and you will find life will become just that one notch more enjoyable

Words by Julian Jamie

Photographed by Marjolijn de Groot

Muse. Nina Varga

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