I walked her around at the restaurant last night, because she was fussy and tired and in need of distraction, and both her mom and her nana—her regular, more familiar walking companions—looked like they could use a break. She does not know me as well, doesn’t remember me from six months ago. But we walked around and looked at things together, and got to know each other a little bit, exploring.
We started with the shapes on a tall carved screen, painted bright white. Circle, square. White. She put her finger inside the circle. We looked up, touched the whiteness. We wondered together. Probably about different things, but together, nonetheless.
Not quite eighteen months old, and teething, and tired. I kept moving, kept pointing, kept talking. Look at this Christmas tree! See the lights? They’re so bright! So many shiny things!
We moved on. I pointed out more lights. Chandeliers and shades—red, green, yellow, orange—look, purple, even! Had I noticed that before?
A red velvet couch. Oooh, it’s soft. Soft red. Touch the soft red! I stroked it myself, and held her hand to it so she could feel, too. Soft, soft. She smiled. Back to the tree, and a shiny metal ornament. Hard—we touched that, too. Everything I pointed to, she looked at, all amazement. Look here! A green velvet couch! Touch the soft green! And here—maroon! Touch the soft maroon velvet!
And this is something I love about being with a very young child. Everything is amazement, and at the same time nothing is a surprise. Because it’s all a surprise. The amazement is a perpetual state—taken in stride—it is all new, all amazing, all wonder-ful. No line between fantasy and reality, because every last bit of it is fantasy. And when you come alongside and see things their way for a moment? The world expands. You realize, or maybe resolve anew, that you want to make no time for jadedness. No allowance for cynicism. No room for anything but wow—okay, sure!
Show me more.
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