“Enjoy the little things for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” — Robert Brault
Who better to remind us of this than a toddler, for whom so much of life is new, exciting and BIG! They see the world with a beginner’s mind, and the seemingly ‘little things’ that go unnoticed in the busyness of our lives become the biggest and best things to them. And now, they can put words to it!
One morning last week, our 2 ½ year old son ran into my bedroom to wake me up (he is an EARLY riser, so daddy takes the 2nd morning shift while I go back to sleep). He comes in yelling with pure glee, “Mummy, there was a snail on my chair! And it was moving!”
He was beaming. Sheer excitement. Vivid, visceral delight. My mirror neurons couldn’t help but start firing with his delight. What a lovely way to be woken up!
Reflecting back on this moment, I can’t help but wonder how I might have responded – or perhaps it is more accurate to say ‘reacted’ – had their been a snail on my chair. I would like to think that if my son were around, I would have shown it to him. More likely, I would have thoughtlessly removed it and perhaps been irritated. Most likely it wouldn’t have registered as a noteworthy event, but instead just been one of the myriad occurrences throughout the day that go unnoticed, and yet are rich with potential if we take a moment to notice.
But, a toddler, taking delight in watching a snail… observing it moving…slowly… What a reminder that each moment offers us a possibility for slowing down and experiencing delight in the simplest of things. A moment free from the worries of work, bills, childcare planning (oh wait, that’s me, not him!).
How many seemingly insignificant events occur in our lives each day and go unnoticed? These are events that are filled with possibility when we actually do notice them.
This morning, before finishing this post, our son ran inside from the front yard, once again yelling with delight, “Mummy, look! A Ladybug!” Another seemingly little, yet oh-so-big thing.
All we have to do is notice.