Thursday, January 28, 2010

Looking Back: Wonderment in Reverse (from Winter 2008)

Tonight a toddler reversed the roles. Since her birth over a year ago I have conscientiously introduced Charlotte to stimulating environments and drawn her attention, however fleeting, to objects and sounds that her developing senses might find fascinating.

It was post-bath/snack/book and nearing bedtime as I began to pull the front window blinds closed for the night. Charlotte, on my hip, waved "bye-bye" to a passing car as she often does and I paused mid-pull to let her watch the car disappear from sight. It was in this very routine moment that she pointed and exclaimed "DAT!" Her version of "what's that?" is something I hear dozens of times daily but this was more than a question; I believe it was her first experience of utter awe. Following her little finger into the heavens, a single star (though so bright, I suspect it may be a planet) twinkled brightly. I immediately made the shift from the bedtime-can't-come-soon-enough-tired-mom to only-slightly-contrived-enthusiasm as I introduced "STAR" into her vocabulary and sang a round or two of Twinkle-Twinkle. Not yet recognizing the magnitude of her discovery, I left Charlotte gazing out the window in a state of thorough fascination in order to do some unnecessary task (of this I am ashamed). My dishes almost done, this 2-foot-tall little person comes "ma-ma-ma"ing into the kitchen - eyes still as big as saucers - and pulls me with her little hand and big determination back to the window. "Dat! STA!," she insists. She points. And repeats. And I finally, finally get it. I am struck with a one-year-old's wonder. And having her show me something so majestic is vastly more fulfilling than any 'discovery' I've ever led her to. A minute later we are laying on a blanket on the floor looking up at a star. We softly practice saying the word star to each other...Her: "sta", Me: "yes, staR". My focus and thrill is torn between the wonder of the heavens and wonder next to me on the floor and is pulled seamlessly together in awe and gratitude of the Creator and giver of them both. I am more thankful. I am more aware of everyday -or night- beauty. I am more aware of how I ought to simply be more aware. And all it took was a toddler. I love you, Charlotte. And thank you, Lord.

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