Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Little Joys



Andrew and I trekked to the Great Land of Queens on Monday to visit a friend. This friend had a trash can. One of those large, shiney, silver ones that you step on the lever and the lid pops open. Oh what a trash can. Andrew LOVED it. We would push the lever and he would crack up. And then run away as if it was just too much to bear. Then he would come back, shyly looking at the trash can, wanting to try the lever himself. Whenever someone got the lever to work, his face would express pure delight.

I was thinking about that this morning. I handed him a handful of cheerios and he smiled and laughed. So happy for cheerios. I love that about toddlers. The littlest things are pure joy. Bubbles, sand, socks, face plants into Dad's pillow. Joy, joy, joy.

I've read that adults should find such joy in little things. That thought exhausts me. I love little things as much as the next person (a good conversation, snow on bare branched trees, hot chocolate), but if I found as much joy as Andrew in little things, then I assume it would also follow I would find as much anguish over little things too. Andrew can break down over the smallest ostackle. Restricting playtime with scissors (by not allowing any playtime with scissors), forbidding eating out of the trash can, removing him from the computer: all of these actions give me a limp, wailing child, trying to make sense of what doesn't make sense to him.

So the very thing that gives Andrew great joy, also causes him great anguish. The new and simple and making sense of it all. I find it a great honor to walk with him through this. To think: you know he's right, cheerios are pretty cool. And: Not understanding why you can't have what you want IS pretty frustrating, right again!

So, that said, I'm off to have a bowl of cheerios.

Anyone want to join me?

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