Friday, June 01, 2007

Children Remind Us of the Simple Pleasures of Life

Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories.—Cathy Allen

Children love to marvel at the simple things in life, don’t they? Having children helps us to rediscover those little pleasures that fascinated us when we were kids. When was the last time you looked for a rainbow after a storm? Or went out at night to look for constellations? Or watched a squirrel scamper up a tree? It doesn’t take an expensive toy to thrill our kids. The world around us is a wonderful playground! Following are some of the things that my three-year-old twin boys love:

Sunbeams: When the sun shines in through the blinds and makes a pattern on the floor or wall, they never tire of trying to put their hands through the sunbeam or stomp on it! And then, as the sun changes position, the sunbeam disappears. Where did it go? It’s a mystery!

Worms: My kids’ latest craze is worms. They love to watch them wiggle, and even bring them into the house for me as a gift! It’s like watching the cat bring in her prey (only these worms are alive!). I valiantly try to show enthusiasm as I gently steer the twins back to the yard with their wiggly friends.

Bugs and Lizards: Anything that moves is wondrous! Unfortunately, the little bee that was moving on the ground stung Austen when he picked it up! But that didn’t slow him down for long. Soon he was chasing the curly-tailed lizards in the yard. One day at preschool, the teacher took the children to a playground they’d never been to before. Caleb looked at her hopefully and asked, “Do they have bugs here, too?”

Books: Any offer to read a book is always greeted with enthusiasm! My children love to snuggle up next to me and look through books, especially if they’re Look & Find books. They can’t get enough of discovering the hidden pictures. And, thanks to books, their preschool teacher was awed by the fact that the boys know the names to almost every imaginable animal!

Airplanes: What little boy doesn’t love the sight of airplanes in the sky? We live near a small airport, so there are plenty of take-offs and landings to be viewed. Wouldn’t it be fun to fly in the sky?

Caterpillars and butterflies: My twins’ preschool teacher taught a unit on caterpillars and butterflies. The children had a jar full of caterpillars that they watched create chrysalises and then emerge as butterflies! We even got to bring home the caterpillars one weekend. How many creatures can transform themselves into something new?

Freckles and boo-boos: For some reason, kids are fascinated with skin! They love to point out freckles, birthmarks and “ouchies.” They want to put Band-aids on all of them, whether they’re needed or not! My kids love to show off their boo-boos, as if they’re prizes they’ve won. When people try to tell my twins apart, the boys proudly announce that Austen is the one with the freckle on his nose!

So, go out and make some memories with your kids. Create chalk art on the sidewalk. Follow an ant to see where it goes! Compare the shapes and sizes of everyone’s fingers and toes. Let your children be your teachers in discovering the world around us!

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