Thursday, July 15, 2010

To thrill a mockingbird

OUT! one step. two steps. FEET! go. car. red. colour. wheel. three steps. four. grass. green. LEAF! zoom. sky. plane. cloud. rock. hard. woof. DOG! five steps. six. go. go. go. legs. flower. yelloooo. neeenaaahhh. truck. fire. FENCE! tall. seven steps. eight. squirrel. run. TREE! park. nine steps. ten. go. go. feet. again. AGAIN!

It may not be the age of enlightenment
But it's the age of the exclamation mark, that's for sure.  If we discount for a moment the teething and tantruming and sheer bloody-mindedness, the months before a child's second birthday may just be a golden era. It's hard to remember a time when the world was quite so brand spanking new and wondrous. Yet that is exactly what we see if we care to look through a toddler's eyes.  Explosive colours, magical movement, glorious sound... 

Nothing is dull when you're three feet tall
Every day objects set off fireworks in the littlest pea brains. The world truly is an awesome place. (Take it from me, since the age of 16 or so I use of the term 'awesome' very judiciously.)  Every now and then, though, it's good for us jaded adults to be reminded of this golden fact. To be forced to s-l-o-w down and smell the falling jasmine blossom or the passing garbage truck, even.  No doubt we could all do with reserving the 3-D glasses -- not for Die Hard 14: Sequels Never Die, but for a walk around our own block every now and then.

LGO's enthusiasm for the world is as contagious as cooties
I love strolling alongside him and trying to see what he sees, watching his world grow with each new step, with each new word and concept he adds to his lexicon daily.  There are so many now, I've lost track.  Each word is a eureka moment, nothing short of a Nobel triumph for him.  He's like a miniature Wordsworth or Thoreau, madly in love with the natural world and all its minutiae.  Hearing him copycat the most random expressions -- like capisce, great job, comfy cosy, paddywack, and my new personal favourite: back off, bitches (Gee, I wonder who we have to thank for that one?) -- is as thrilling as it is hilarious. Hearing him connect the dots verbally, mentally -- pointing to cup and rug and fan, and beaming as if he himself patented the stuff -- is one of the great rewards of being a parent.  Rue the day when his lexicon plateaus and his eyes cease to really look, to really see what's out there. 

The day that happens is the day his world starts to shrink
And this shrinkage, to me at least, is one of the greatest tragedies of adulthood. For now, though, Little Green One is my guide and my braille, shining a torch on what's been dim for so long. And for that I'm grateful. His unblinkered 'sight' is one of the greatest gifts of childhood, and a great gift to me, his adoring fan and ever loving mama.

1 comment:

  1. Helped to read this after a few weeks of tantrums and rough times. Thanks!