Take a look at the photograph for this post… what do you see? Probably the first thing you notice is a warm, sunny beach, especially as we here in Iowa head into the long, cold, dreary months of winter. But look a little closer…. Now what do you see?
I have to admit this picture makes me smile for many reasons. First, it is of my 22 year old daughter, Mackenzie, and her beloved 2 year old friend, Petsi. The picture was taken on the remote island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, where Petsi’s Papa grew up and where his family still lives. So it makes me smile because the picture is of people I love and a place that has special memories.
But it also makes me smile because this photograph captures simply and beautifully a life philosophy I hold dearly – maintaining a sense of wonder! Mackenzie and Petsi are both completely lost in exploring the object in Mackenzie’s hand. For them, the world has stopped, and the only thing that matters is exploring that item, even if for just a few moments.
Children have an innate sense of wonder – each and every day new and interesting things cross their paths to explore and ponder. The day-to-day busyness of caring for children, however, can get in our way of slowing down to appreciate and encourage children to observe and wonder. Maintaining a sense of wonder is important for children’s development, though, because is helps build children’s curiosity, which leads to success in literacy, math, science… all sorts of areas! There is also simply great joy in getting lost in wonder, for both children and for us as adults.
As we enter this especially busy time of year of holidays, runny noses, mixed up schedules, and bulky winter clothes, remember to pause, catch your breath, and get lost in the sense of wonder children have about twinkly lights, snowflakes, tassels on stocking caps and all the other wonderful things that capture children’s sense of wonder!
P.S. What do you think has Mackenzie and Petsi so intrigued? We’d love to hear your thoughts at Let’s Talk… Child Care!
(Photo used with permission by Pettee Guerrero and Mackenzie Thompson)