Moments of wonder

Last night I folded up a big Target box and put it in the recycling bin.  The box was covered in sharpie words and crayon drawings, and has been a major focus of this house for several days.  As I took it out, noticing that the air is positively swampy with spring as I did so, I thought how thrilled I am that Grace and Whit still find a cardboard box to be a thrilling thing to play with.   The arrival of a big cardboard box is met with celebrating, and provides days of fodder for playing together or alone.  I love this.

It reminded me of the night, a few weeks ago, when I decided to make a chocolate fudge cake that I’d first made for Whit, on his request, last summer.  I surprised the kids with the cake in the morning, and gave them each fat slices for breakfast.  They looked at me, bewildered wonder on their faces, suspecting, I think, that I was going to announce that I was joking and snatch the plates away.  I wasn’t, and I didn’t.  They were thrilled beyond all reason at this tiny surprise.  Grace even told me recently that she had written a “whole page” in her journal at school about this, and I groaned at her that she wasn’t making me look very good in front of her teacher.

I get the same sense of awed pride when I asked Whit recently what his favorite part of spring break was.  He said, without hesitating, “Disney,” but then he went on, “but close after that, our trip to Walden.”  Or when, after a dinner full of rowdy, obnoxious bickering, they calm down, within minutes, when we go for a pajama-clad ‘notice things’ walk.  Furthermore, that they ask, over and over again, for these walks.

I know for sure that this is one of the things I most want to pass on to my children: the propensity for delight, the willingness to be amazed, an openness to the hugeness of small things.  Whether it’s a trait or an inclination I’m not sure; I don’t know that it matters.  I do know, however, that it is one way to assure a life full of joy.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be great sorrow, too.  As far as I can tell they are often twined entirely together.  If there’s one thing I want to do as a mother, it is to help Grace and Whit hold onto their capacity for wonder.

I noticed, as I tried to find a link, that I have more than a few blog posts with “wonder” in the title.  All of a sudden it occurred to me that maybe that’s what this blog is about: the wonder of ordinary life.  The wonder of that design, of which we sometimes glimpse the contours, though never the whole.  The wonder of human relationships, the sky, the turning of the seasons, poetry, the power contained in the light of a day.  The wonder of living in the slipstream of time, whose eddies are both utterly unique and totally universal.  That’s what this blog has been, for almost five years: a record of my moments of wonder, both in their thunderous joy and their swelling sadness.  And a love letter to those two small guides who have shown me the way here.


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18 Comments

  1. Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    “I know for sure that this is one of the things I most want to pass on to my children: the propensity for delight, the willingness to be amazed, an openness to the hugeness of small things” I love this phrase, coz this is the exact same thing I want to pass on to my children. :)

  2. Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    And this, my dear friend, is what you can tell people when they ask you about your blog….

    That’s what this blog has been, for almost five years: a record of my moments of wonder, both in their thunderous joy and their swelling sadness.  And a love letter to those two small guides who have shown me the way here.

    Just gorgeous, Lindsey, just gorgeous. I still love big boxes.

    XOXO

  3. Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    This is beautiful, Lindsey. Delight brings magic and zest, and the sense that the world is constantly renewed. And there’s something wonderful about that.

    By the way, you ROCK with the chocolate cake! I’m sure that will be a special memory for them forever.

  4. Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I love that you do this… the “notice” walks. And giving them the cake for breakfast. They will remember this forever.

  5. Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    ‘an openness to the hugeness of small things’. this means everything to me. when i read your words, energy radiated through my belly, from my navel out. quiet power. wow. humbled and grateful. yes, this blog is a wonder (def. a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration caused by something beautiful). xo

  6. Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Just beautiful, Lindsey.

    I think about this too. Often. Whenever I see the look of innocent wonder on my kids’ faces, I feel delight – and then sadness, because I almost immediately worry that the world will knock that innocence out of them too quickly.

    It means so much to me to see that the capacity for wonder is obviously so great in your slightly older kids. Maybe it never has to go away. Maybe we can keep it alive for them.

  7. Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Just love this!!!

  8. Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I think that is what your blog is about – those poignant, gorgeous moments of wonder. And I believe you’ll pass that on to your kids, no problem.

  9. Trish
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    That’s what this blog has been, for almost five years: a record of my moments of wonder, both in their thunderous joy and their swelling sadness. And a love letter to those two small guides who have shown me the way here.

    Best post to date….

    oxox
    Trish

  10. Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Yes! I love that you found your words for this space. I think Wonder fits perfectly.

  11. Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I need a like button. :) Thumbs up for this post.

  12. Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    My kids have had their share of chocolate for breakfast this week. Thankfully they have no one to tell except Daddy. : )

    I do believe wonder describes this blog so very well.

  13. Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    May our kids never lose their sense of wonder, and may we always be open to theirs so we too can delight in the world through their eyes.

    Gorgeous post, Lindsey.

  14. Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    So, about an hour after I read this post on my phone I was folding laundry (and thinking of you, of course, as I always do) and then I was thinking of “notice things” walks and pajama-clad kids and finding the wonder through their eyes and letting it fill your own and ….

    I guess you could say you’ve influenced my day quite a bit, lady.

    Glad to be back to the blogosphere. !!!

  15. Tiffany
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Just beautiful, Lindsey. What a way to get your own answer to your question regarding the content of your blog – all of it so very true!

  16. Posted May 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m a day or so late to this post, but just wanted to say how lovely it was. I also hope that my kids will find wonder in small things, and may adopt some of your traditions to help facilitate that. Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on life and parenting.

  17. Posted May 22, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Perhaps wonder is like our eternal key that unlocks the sublime pulsing always within the seemingly ordinary and extraordinary alike. Connecting in our wonder is like spilling into the eternal slipstream of child-mind.

  18. Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By The Beauty Everywhere on November 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

    [...] generously contributed already… or in these words from a mother whose children teach her.  In Lindsey’s moments of wonder and noticing walks.  Or maybe you’ll join in Postively Positive’s [...]

  2. By Mommyproof Top Ten List on May 8, 2013 at 12:39 am

    [...] 7) Moments of Wonder by Lindsey Mead. [...]