Monday, May 9, 2016
Life's lessons aren't always learned the hard way
Some of the best life lessons are learned when you least expect it...not from a book, but simply by observing. The first lesson I learned on Friday was time is flying way too fast. Also count your blessings and appreciate the little things. To be able to spend quality time with a special, little, personable, person not quite two, is one of my greatest privileges.
Since Liam got a haircut, it's as if he has grown a neck, which makes him look like a big boy, not a baby anymore. He is stringing words, and he is going to be verbose. He sings You Are My Sunshine with me. I sing a few word and he fills in the blanks in a singing voice. Baby nuzzles have been traded in for cheek smacks. He poufs the air out of my inflated cheeks and belly laughs. He goes up to strangers and says, "Hello." His latest obsession is American flags. We'll be driving and he says, "Oh flags, where are you?" When he spies one, he says, "Nana, another flag." I never realized how many flags there are blowing in the breeze. "Another one. Another one. Oh three flags Nana!"
I took him to Grant's Farm, a free mini zoo on the property owned by the Busch Brewery folks. On the tram ride through the animal areas we saw buffaloes and two newborn babies, long horn steer, and lots of others. The female ostrich is perched on twelve eggs. Because the male is willing to help with the sitting at night, the farm is going to hatch the eggs. The guide said usually the males aren't interested, but this big guy isn't allowing the eggs to cool at all. Teamwork is important!
After the tram ride we fed the baby goats milk from a baby bottle. Um...Liam plopped that nipple right into his own mouth, because that was his only frame of reference. Widen your horizons. Learn something new. He was amazed to see baby goats nursing from baby bottles. He spied a kangaroo and shouted, "Hello kangaroo!"
I bought him his first snow cone, and he shouted, "Purple!" What an experience to watch the joy of tasting a snow cone through a toddler's eyes. "Collllld! Oh yum!"
Observing him was akin to reading a terrific essay where the author allows you to glimpse every emotion and sensory detail captured in a particular moment.
We watched the bird show, and he kept saying, "Bird, Nana. Big bird. Red bird. Fly bird." He squealed when the trained macaw flew inches above the audience. Then to discover there were more macaws living in a shady compound nearby...well you can only imagine his delight.
We stopped to have a snack. When Liam dropped some of his crackers, the chickens skittered around us and devoured the crumbs. It is good to share with others...whether you're a toddler or a writer.
When I ask him a question, even a basic one such as, "What book do you want to read?" He replies. "I don't know." It's okay not to know. As a writer, there's a lot to learn. Don't be afraid of research or discovering new techniques. Get out there and tackle whatever comes your way. And remember to be thankful everyday.