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Friday, April 11, 2008

How big is that hill, anyway?

Just Because Baskets

Marisa stood at the top of the hill gazing down and contemplating the likelihood that she could scale the hill without being hurt. I could see in her eyes that she had doubts about her ability, yet she knew that it was probably safe enough because she had watched Kira slide down this very same hill just moments before. She finally decided to attempt the hill herself. Instead of sliding down, though, she opted for crawling down the hill on her tummy. When she reached the bottom, she looked up at me, obviously quite pleased that she had safely tackled the hill. Then she realized that she would need to climb back up a seemingly insurmountable mountain to get back to me. Slowly, she began crawling back up the hill, watching me the whole time. When she made it to the top she turned and went back down again.

This hill that I speak of was about 5 feet tall with a fairly decent incline just perfect for sliding down on a piece of cardboard - if you happen to weigh less than 50 pounds. To me, the hill was insignificant. To Marisa, this hill was the largest mountain she had ever seen.

Watching her as she became increasingly confident about her ability to master this mountain, I began to recall how big the hills used to seem to me back when I was younger. It is often difficult to see the world through your child' s a eyes.

Perspective is such an interesting concept because the perspective we have of our daily lives affects everything we do. Marisa is frequently fascinated by the simplest things. The ants crawling on the sidewalk are good for about 20 minutes of observation and amusement. The fly coming to visit our picnic is the perfect friend to hold a complete conversation with while he sits patiently waiting for some crumb to fall to the ground. The trees growing beside the park are a deep forest, perfect for exploring and hiding.

When I remember to slow down and view the world through Marisa's eyes, I find that the wonder is still there. I can see the forest. I can be amused and transfixed by a few tiny ants going about their business. I can even find the joy in talking to a fly because, after all, the fly came to see me and keeps coming back no matter how often I shoo him away. I remember what life was like before bills and responsibilities. It makes me love her so much more to know that she can teach me to slow down.


SoccerMom said...

The one that often reminds me to slow down and enjoy is the dog. She will stop and smell the flowers ~ literally! She is a border Collie with a long nose that loves to sniff. I know that dogs and kids are two very different things but in a way they are also the same, They see things we miss and it reminds us to look around. A big way-to-go to her for conquering the hill.

Liss said...

That�s a really beautiful story. As a single mum, I often don�t get time to stop and smell the roses. We are always busy � to school to kinder to work, home from work, to swimming to dancing, homework, housework the list goes one.
Tomorrow we are going on a camera club excursion. My kids are coming along and dressing up in historical clothing to be models. Tomorrow, I vow to slow down and find my own piece of wonder though the eyes of my children.