Before I had my child I thought I knew what it was to be fully present, but I realized that I was still rushing, still getting to the next destination, and still always trying to achieve more per moment instead of soaking in the moment itself. My son is currently two years old, and, since he has been mobile, I’ve started to notice the world more from his point of view.
His ability to be present is more noticeable when we are in nature. He can watch families of lady-bugs and rolly-pollies for several minutes. Through his lens, I began to remember my own curiosity. I began to also wonder if the rollie pollie will climb on the rock and where his home is.
I also started to notice that my concern for doing more in less time began to start falling away. I now enjoy the moments where we are able to block off time where we don’t need to do anything or be anywhere. Times where we can explore to the fullness of our curiosity. I’m glad that he helped me to remember.
The next time you are in nature, watch your child. How do they approach something that they have never seen before? My son likes to squat down and look as closely as possible. He often cannot resist touching and most of the time I let him. He wants to know the object fully. He checks it out from different angles and he gets excited when I tell him the name of the object. He wants to be fully immersed in learning about this new thing and it’s my honor to share the joy of discovering bumble-bees, different species of plants and flowers, and one of our favorites “pine-corns” (pine cones).
I will say that there are days where we don’t stop and smell the flowers, days where I schedule too much “fun” and we have to rush from one destination to the next. I’ve learned that those days are less memorable and that making time to slow down seems to be the right fit for us.
So, next time you pick up a stick try to take an extra moment to see what you can learn from it. Are there shapes or textures that teach you more about the world? When you bang it on a rock does it make a sound that lights you up inside? Can you use it to build a home for rollie-pollies or a garden for bumble-bees? Although my child cannot fully express everything he is learning now I’m glad that he has helped me to slow down, smell the flowers, and become fully immersed in curiosity. Through this process, I feel more present and remember more about each day as we learn together.