Have you ever noticed that kids have their own idea of what’s important? It’s also very simple: play and eat. Sometimes they willingly acknowledge resting and learning takes place in the wonder of their exploration of the world around them.
We’ve been visiting my youngest son and his family since Christmas. My son and and daughter-in-law have three wonderful daughters: 5 years and in kindergarten, 3 years and in pre-school, and the miracle 6-month old. Having raised boys, I totally enjoy the make-believe-world of princesses and lots of pink and sparkles. Personally, I think a girl can never have too much sparkle or too many tiaras.
Even Grandpa, who didn’t have children of his own, can dress a Barbie, distinguish between Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Blossom, and sit through daily viewings of Beauty and the Beast.
There’s something magical that happens to grown-ups when they hang with kids. Even with responsibilities and having to get things done, you can experience the magic. I don’t think I was so sure of that when I raised my sons. As a single parent, I worked two jobs and often-times was multitasking when they were trying to tell me something. we did read together every night, but many times I was distracted with all that I had left to do before I went to bed.
I was always struck by Mary treasuring or pondering in her heart the precious events and, later memories, of Jesus. I would observe the boys and take a snapshot of what they were doing or saying, filling my heart with my own treasurers of them. Sometimes I wished I could make time stand still or not be so stressed in order to capture the magic of those moments.
I have learned that grown-ups can tap into the magic at any time. It’s not hard, but it does take some effort to stay aware. It’s also an age-old battle that is sometimes easier to conquer than other times.
The magic is being in the moment. There’s nothing to do; it’s all about being. When we are in the moment, we can be truly aware of what is happening around us and in us.
When I’m in the moment with my granddaughters, I’m a witness to their incredible imagination and the feelings expressed through their play. I experience the amazement of learning something new like 4+4=8 and 3+5=8 too (“Imagine that, Grandma!”). I see the honest negotiation that goes on sharing toys and the nuances of disappointment turning to acceptance because it all really does work out in the long run. By being present, I hear the request for help when frosting cupcakes or can-I-sit-on-your-lap when watching Beauty and the Beast…again.
The real magic in all of this is that kids aren’t required. It’s something we can experience with the people already in our lives. It means listening to the message instead of just hearing the words. Taking time to be together without having something to do. Being willing to continually look for the things we’ve missed. I know. I’m still finding things I’ve missed in Beauty and the Beast!