“Is it holiday yet?” My daughter asks eagerly. In this instance, her use of the word “holiday” is referring to Valentine’s Day. When you have young kids it starts to feel like you are living from one holiday to the next. Christmas Day had not yet come to a close before my 4-year-old started talking about Valentine’s Day (cue the “enjoy today” speech from this mom)! So here we are, just a few days before Valentine’s Day and our house boasts the handiwork of a determined, party-oriented, preschooler, with cutout hearts and hand-drawn pictures taped to most of the windows and walls.
I am not exaggerating when I say every day for the last two weeks, my daughter has planned and prepared for Valentine’s Day. It is both delightful and exhausting! The truth is, I am enjoying the Valentine’s Day season (who knew it was a season?) more than ever because of her delight. And as I savor this precious season of life with my enthusiastic daughter, I hope her delight with life won’t fade with age.
Because the truth is, I desire to be more like her. To exude delight and enjoyment for the little things in life. To look forward to time spent with family and friends and the seemingly ordinary opportunities for connection with another person.
My daughter is an artist. Her art goes beyond crayon drawings of stick figure families under a rainbow. She possesses the art of enjoying life. She is gifted in the ability of turning the ordinary into extraordinary. I learn new ways of looking at the world every day I’m with her.
This enjoyment of life doesn’t have to diminish as we age. It’s true, as adults, we look at life through the lens of experience, grief, loss, disappointment, much of which is shielded from a young child. But there is something to be said for holding on to childlike wonder and delight for life. But like any good artist, we must practice –practice gratefulness, search for goodness, and express delight in the ordinary.
This Valentine’s Day and every day, may you experience childlike delight for the ordinary moments of life.
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