Yesterday she was having a rough day. We were both pretty frustrated with each other. Nap time wasn't going well we usually will go outside for a walk to reset when we have days like this, but the baby was sleeping, and it was DOWN POURING out. It was the type of rain that is noticeably loud. She ran over to the window by the door and pointed out and told me it was raining. I told her yes it was raining and we'd go outside later. As soon as I finished the sentence, I had an internal 'eff it' moment.
I asked her if she wanted to go outside. I opened the door and her face light up so bright. She cautiously walked out the door. I could see the gears in her brain working on trying and figuring out the why and how to this water falling into her face from the not so blue sky.
We played in the rain for a solid 30 minutes. We ran in the grass, sat in puddles, we belly laughed so hard. The pure look of joy on her face from having me be on her level with experiencing life was such a great reminder to slow down. These are the moments that matter most. Not the dishes, not the laundry, not the work emails, not rushing through life to get to the next task.
Having a toddler is hard. This little spitfire, who is my daughter, tests me every day. She is always pushing the limits as she explores the world around her. My little one can make an adventure out of the simplest of things. What is supposed to be a quick walk to get into the car can consist of 8 detours to examine every rock, blade of grass, and the squirrel running up the tree. It's so easy to rush her along because I'm running on the mainstream schedule that is my life. It's so easy to tell her no because we have to go or we are going to be late. It's SO easy to take away that moment of curiosity, and her craving to explore.
I've been trying to be more mindful about what I shut down. I've been trying to get down on her level and experience her experiencing the world. There is some magical quote somewhere about seeing the world through a child's eyes; it really is an amazing thing when you slow down enough to experience it. We, as adults, take so much for granted. Not many full-grown adults would light up with joy over identifying that the blade of grass you just picked is indeed green! I mean when was the last time you picked a blade of grass, squealed with excitement over its color, and belly laughed as you placed it on your head?
My goal this summer is to be aware of myself in the moments when I'm rushing her along to conform to my schedule and just let her explore. There are so many times I've caught myself shutting something down for no reason other than I needed to move into the next task. So many times I've told her not right now when she was about to jump in a puddle because of me not wanting to deal with a messy outfit. So many times, when I've gotten annoyed, she dumped dirt into her hair at the playground because she had just gotten her hair washed. Or times when I've rushed her along during a walk because I was bored.
Now is the time to soak up every moment. You can't make memories for tomorrow without taking the time to make them today. Take the time to experience pure joy with your child. That matters. They give the ques for incredible adventures; you just have to take them. They are only this little once.