The other evening I was bathing my son and I made a conscious effort to slow down and simply let him have fun in the baby tub. So many times I feel that I am rushing us around, from here to there, and in doing so, I worry that I am robbing him of experiencing the simple joys in life. So… we slowed down.
I sat there and watched this little one discover water and a smile quickly spread across my face.
He sat up in his tub, as he repeatedly splashed the water that was all around him. Water flew in his eyes – yet he continued. His giggles increased as he sent water flying in every direction. Then he began to glide his hand under the water, intently watching his own movement. A few minutes later, he (accidentally) discovered that his hand would make a squeaking sound while sliding it along the side of the wet tub. What was the result? Tons of loud pitched squeaks coming from the bathroom and echoing down the hallway.
These behaviors continued for the next ten-plus minutes. At no point did he direct his attention elsewhere. He did not appear bored. He did not seem cold from his torso being above the water level. He did not display any concern about the fact that he had lowered his face closer and closer to the surface of the water. He just sat there. Playing in the water. Testing new ideas. Observing the changes. Simply experiencing joy.
My heart sank. How often do we take the time to experience this joy in life – joy like a child has? Do we slow down enough to become enthralled with the movement of water around us while bathing/showering? Do we clear our minds of the to-do list, concerns of the day, plan for tomorrow’s dinner and the millions of other thoughts racing through our minds to be in the present moment? In raising our children, how often do we rob them of these small joys due to rushing them through our busy agenda for the day? I’m guilty. Very guilty. Not out of neglect for my son, nor out of purposeful intensions to fill up HIS day with MY obligations. But rather because I forget the value of slowing down. As his mother, it is my job to teach him and model many areas of life. However, on this evening, he was teaching me, “Mama, look at this water and observe the interesting traits that it possesses. Mama, slow down and experience joy.”
Thank you, son. Thank you for reminding me that even as adults, we can still slow down and enjoy the simple things in life – the things we often take for granted. Thank you for showing me joy through a child’s eyes.
Ahmeli… that we take time this week to slow down and experience joy like that through a child’s eyes.
A few days after this post, I discovered another moment to share with my son – exploring the grass in a yard.