Being Christmas holidays, I have the privilege of not going to work and spending some quality time with my family. We have done a lot of fun activities – we had Christmas and boxing day, lots of bigger family meals, swimming, playing, going to the train museum etc. All these things have been HEAPS of fun. We all have had a great time together. In fact I think I have enjoyed about 45% of my time with the children! ‘45%’ you ask? Yes. Believe it or not, for about 5% or the time I could put them up for adoption and the other 50 or so percent they are sleeping.
On Christmas the kids had a wonderful time opening presents and playing with the resulting boxes and paper. Oh they enjoyed the toys, too. At Christmas dinner they quite liked the cheese-sticks but did not care too much for the melt-in-your-mouth roast. In the pool the pool toys were fun, but not as much fun as ‘Daddy I am going to jump in the deep end and I know you are going to save me’ game. At the railway museum, the trains were not too bad, however, the icey-pole on the way home was an enjoyable treat!
So why am I telling you that my children enjoy the grand gestures but LOVE the anecdotal little things in between the big activities? Because I have learned that it is the small things in life that are really the big things.
We got Eli a pair of bright blue gumboots yesterday so I just had to take him for a walk through the estate and into the council park. Eli was not really interested in taking his new bike or ball. But he LOVED the sound the grate made when he stomped on it. He loved the little rocks in between the cracks on the footpath. He especially loved the popular toddlers’ game ‘put leaves down the storm-water drain’.
For close to an hour yesterday, I enjoyed the little things in life and I think I saw everything clearly – for the first time in a long time. I was not thinking about what activities I needed to do or jobs that needed completing. Finances or time was not high priority in my thought processes. Worrying about what was for dinner or fretting about things was just not on the agenda. It was my boy and I – just the two of us, enjoying the little things in life. Collecting small rocks, stepping in puddles, watching and waving at planes overhead. It was magical.
It was so nice to see the world through the eyes of a 16 month old – it was simple. It was about being close to someone you love, feeling safe and secure. It was enjoying things again – the smell of a flower, finding an interesting pebble – tracking a colourful bug as it traverses the footpath.
With his little hand in mine, I felt happy. It was a little thing, but it was a big thing. One of the biggest things in the world!