So this past Saturday I had the joy of experiencing life through the eyes of a 2 year old. I spent the day with my nephew. He was supposed to have his first ever sleep over & stay the night. We were going to have a breakfast picnic on the beach the next morning but alas, that didn't happy - we'll get back to that.
A friend told me that I couldn't possibly imagine how many things I taught him without even realizing I was teaching him. And maybe that is the case. But as I'm recalling the day, I only see how much he taught me.
The excitement he showed from his phone call that morning to make sure I was still coming to pick him up, to the jumping around when I got there. That excitement was infectious. It still brings a wide smile to my face thinking about it. Making sure he had everything he needed for the weekend. And he had to check three times that he had his snorkel & mask. (Apparently, it doesn't even really fit him very well according to his mom but he absolutely had to bring it.) We still can't figure out why he packed three toothbrushes... but I'm glad he's thinking of good dental hygiene at 2.
I never noticed so many pick up trucks on the roads until that day. We counted them - commented on all the colors - discussed whose side of the car they were driving by. And of course he wanted me to pass all of them. (Which I only did within the laws of the road because I was transporting precious cargo after all) The cutest thing was that he was saying hi to everyone - our windows were up & I was the only one who could hear but his friendliness & good mood were to be admired... He was so happy that he started blowing kisses to everyone. When was the last time you've been that happy? That excited? So much so that you get totally overwhelmed with it & it comes out as blowing kisses? (Well, granted, adults blowing kisses to strangers would be cause for alarm but you get it - that excitement & happiness which can't be contained.)
The day went on & we had a ball. Driving to the park, I was talking with a friend who wanted us to stop by so she could meet him (no worries - it was blue tooth, hands free communication). I asked him if he wanted to go there before or after the park. Surprisingly he chose before. And in that moment, without him knowing it, he reminded me not to put off visiting with your friends.
When we were at the park, we did the typical park things - swing, slide. But they also had a fitness trail. We did everything on it - twice - some three times. His ambition to try everything - even the high bar that you hang from - was great! And his surprise at himself when he could do it all - if only for a brief second & if only with my help - that surprise & thrill on his face was delightful. He taught me something else at the park - he taught me to slow down, just sit, relax & take in the day. We were doing the kid thing of walking on the bleachers next to the ball field & he decided we needed to just sit & watch the other kids playing for a little while.
The rest of the day was just a fun filled & happy. Until dinner. He realized it was getting dark & wanted to know when his mom was picking him up. When I reminded him that he was sleeping at my house & we were going to the beach the next day, the tears started to well up. He just wanted to go home & sleep in his new big boy bed. As soon as I said OK, he was happy as a clam again. It broke my heart to see him sad, but in that moment he showed me that no matter what your age, sometimes you just need the simple comforts in life.
And that snorkel & mask... he wanted to leave it at my house. He said he would come back. Another day of learning & simple reminders are in store for me soon & I'm so looking forward to it.