Simplest Things

Like most of you I'm sure, the holiday weekend didn't afford much time for knitting. Only a few rounds on the long-forgotten Gayle sleeves that will...ahem...someday be completed. Plenty of time for visiting with family and friends though, and I was reminded that you're never too old to put your two cents into building a snowman.

Last night I had the privilege of spending a few hours with my three year old nephew. At first I was taken aback at just how much chaos ensued from the addition of a toddler to my mom's house--usually a quiet, exceptionally ordered and well decorated home that wouldn't be out of place in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. Last night however, it seemed as if the living room was transformed into a playroom with puzzles and crayons strewn about the floor, and a surprisingly large rev-up car track in front of the entertainment center. And on this first visit to Gram's, an endless supply of adults to play with him, tickle him, and watch his every move for the he-just-did-the-cutest-darn-thing-ever photographs.

I have to admit, he's a lucky kid--the holiday weekend lasted him four solid days--two with his mom's family and two with his dad's (my family). Of course at three the presents are the most exciting part--that and Gram's gingerbread men. But what struck me as interesting was that the toy he seemed most engrossed in was the Viewmaster--yes, the same simple technology from the 90s, 80s, 70s....and so forth, sure it's dressed up in a snazzier plastic shell, but it's the same little slide viewer. He kept pressing the little lever and his mouth would open wide with a 'woooooah' followed by a quick run to me or my brother and say 'whas this?' Disney scene after Disney scene and (disturbingly close-up) insect after insect (how do they photograph those things?!) his awe was just as great.

For me the experience was almost majestic, watching his enthusiasm and enjoyment (and that something that held his attention that long) over something so classic, that to me had previously seemed so mundane. For a moment it was as if I was seeing it all for the first time through his eyes.

On the way home I couldn't help but notice, in all of his energy and toddler babble, how successful he had been at making me slow down for a moment to appreciate one of the simplest joys of life.


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