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Oct 1, 2009

Seeing life through the eyes of a child

A few days ago, the Gratitude Challenge task was to see life through the eyes of a child. I thought this was a neat exercise. Every now and then, I am reminded by my own 20-month old son how refreshing it can be to see life from his perspective. He finds fascination in by every little thing, from a ball rolling across our backyard to the games he plays in water or even to a garbage truck passing by the house. He can be so happy with these little things that represent new experiences for him. Also, he tends to be a little explorer and is not afraid to try new things... sometimes to my consternation when it's about climbing a tall play structure or exploring a new house by himself (we have been checking houses for rent lately, and Daniel seems to be more excited to visit these houses than we are! He hides in the closets and lets us find him... Fun for him, not so much for us).

In comparison, my adult life feels a lot more serious and straight-forward. I could definitely benefit from trying to be more excited about the little things or more spontaneous when embracing new situations.

However, I have to say that I don't envy Daniel for being a child. Not everything is that simple. First, he is still very dependent on adults. He usually wakes up very hungry - and fussy- in the morning (he doesn't eat much dinner these days, but that's ok, though... He has reserves). He must feel very helpless to have to wait for us to prepare breakfast before he can have anything. From his behavior when waiting (like trying to open the fridge), I can tell that he wishes he could do more to help himself.
Also, the other day, our fire alarm went off after we turned on the heat for the first time in 6 months (there was just a little bit of smoke at the beginning and the alarm picked it up - nothing serious). Daniel completely panicked, and he must have been quite traumatized: after 4 days, he is still pointing at the alarm on a regular basis and explaining how scared he was when it happened. I am glad that, as an adult, I have enough experience to not be afraid when it's not necessary. There are benefits of being a grown-up after all.

If only I could remember to still enjoy the little things as Daniel does. So here is my list of little things I am grateful for today.
- the fact that my husband and I are able to provide for Daniel, in terms of spending both money and time for/with him.
- the fact that the weather is less cold than earlier in the week, so that we can go out and play in the park.
- the fact that we have a very supportive family. Although they are far away, we know they are here for us... and we will see some of them next week (I can't wait)
- etc, etc... The list is definitely getting longer as I think about it. Isn't it the exact point of the Gratitude Challenge?

Want to get inspired? Learn more about the Gratitude Challenge.

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