Last summer, a pipe burst in our front yard. My little girl raced to play in the stream after getting her swimsuit on. She danced while I stood on the sidewalk fretting about the possible water bill. When I spoke with the firefighters and assessed the mess made by their digging out the sidewalk, she screamed with elation and laughed.
Being a parent has offered me a spectacular view of the beauty of embracing the gift of the present. My little girl is such an illustration of finding joy in all times and all places. She is one of the most lovely souls I have encountered. There is much she has already taught me about experiencing a fulfilled life.
Several years ago, after she underwent three surgeries, we spent the night in the hospital together. I tried to create the perfect sleep environment with mood lighting and quiet sounds. She wanted to explore the area and stay up until morning. Instead of me checking on her breathing through the night and startling awake in my chair bed every few hours, we rode around the wing in a wagon. There was chocolate pudding and popsicles and funny hospital equipment to discover.
When schools closed down last spring, my daughter gladly embraced the opportunity to sleep in late during the week. While I was concerned about the added household responsibilities, she wondered which friends would be willing to play in our backyard. She found that she could pretend her computer was glitching during virtual lessons and made us all laugh with her robotic moves and stutters.
While I tabulated the number of hours of sleep she was getting and compared it to pediatrician recommendations, she would spend evening hours with a flashlight, string, and miscellaneous crafting materials. During those hours, she configured three pulley devices. Each device delivered her a cup of water, nighttime reading materials, and stuffed animals.
There isn’t a thing my daughter cannot design or do. I have the joy and privilege to sit back and observe her metamorphosis. Here are a handful of lessons I have learned from my daughter.
It is a perfect time to dance.
Go-bags should include a swimsuit.
Sleep is for the weary.
Joy is NOW.
Making toys is better than buying them.
The best boot is a used, muddy boot.
A messy room may indicate a bright mind.
If you’re not currently fortunate enough to have a little girl in your life giving you such valuable lessons, I would encourage you to find a local church and plug into volunteering in some capacity in the children’s departments. My life is much richer with this little light in my life and I hope you have the opportunity to love and be loved by one in your community.