Monday, March 24, 2014
Capture the Innocence
Toddlers are wonderful little creatures, especially when they’re your own grandchildren. As I stayed with my three and a half year old grandson over the Mardi Gras holiday so that his parents could enjoy the festivities, I sat in wonder and watched him. It made me realize how our views of the world change as we get older, and I have to say, I don’t think we change for the better.
Toddlers see innocence in everything. They believe in their adult supervisors (parents, grandparents, babysitters) that they will do only the things that are good for them. They don’t think about it; they simply believe. They believe that food will be on the table, that clothes will be available (they don’t really care if they are clean or matched), and they believe that the love they so freely give will be returned. They hug and kiss, they tell you how beautiful you are, and they stand in amazement when you can do the simplest of things for them.
I realize that over the years I have written many children into my novels, and I can honestly say that I love each and every one of them. I love the innocence they bring to a story because even when they might act up in your story or be jealous of the love their dad or mom is giving to another adult, underneath they still are the innocent beings that we once were.
Sometimes toddlers get the meaning of words wrong, but by their actions you can usually figure out what they are trying to say. One day when my husband and I babysit this same grandson, I had just told him how proud I was of him for using the potty chair. He wasted no time. He ran out of the bathroom and threw himself in my husband’s arms, hugged his neck and said, “McDaddy, I’m so proud of you.” My husband had no idea why he was saying that, but he knew the child was showing his love.
Growing up has its advantages. We can’t be helpless children forever, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we seem to lose the wonderment that children see in the world. Maybe today we adults who are so filled with experience and knowledge and talents should take a step back and try to see the world differently.
Do as a toddler would do. Give love and hugs freely. Make someone smile.