Before becoming a parent, I received some advice that I only thought I understood. Things like, “go to the movies while you can,” “sit down to a nice quiet meal now and then”, and of course the perennial advice given to a parent to be, “get as much sleep as humanly possible while you still have the chance.” On some basic level I recognized that after having children my personal time and space would become a scarcer and more desirable resource, but I couldn’t grasp the depth of that truth until I experienced it first-hand.
Still, of all the words of parental wisdom that I thought I understood, the one that became really clear only after my child was born was this one: “see the world through a child’s eyes.” This is common advice given not just to prospective parents, but to all adults everywhere, and I thought I understood what it meant. Look at the world as though you are seeing it for the first time. Show your appreciation for the simple things we take for granted. View the world as a giant playground. This all made sense to me in a theoretical way, but it was only when I witnessed my 10 month old triumphantly raise his fist in the air screaming “Yeaaaaaaahhhhh!” at the sight of every city bus passing through our neighborhood, each time with equal enthusiasm and overflowing with delight, that I finally grasped the magnitude of the expression. I have found it difficult to convey in words the sheer joy and unfiltered appreciation for life that my child felt at that moment, but I haven’t been able to look at a public bus the same way since.
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