Friday, June 4, 2010

Lessons from a two year old

As Michal and I are each engrossed into private electronic worlds (he is studying, I am sculpting memories), I can hear Joshua's high-pitched vocal gymnastics reverberate through our cozy apartment. He is upstairs, yet his voice penetrates the crustiest layers of concrete, and his laughter carries a contagious joy. At two, his world is filled with laughter. As Silvana and I at times converse on highly sophisticated topics, certain words will trigger torrents of laughter from his small frame. I remember how we would tell him about the Christmas tree, during the Christmas month, and his tiny body would shake with laughter. We would repeat the words-Christmas tree- and the same waterfall of sound. Certain gestures, so commonplace to us, respectable adults, would bring about the same expression of unrestrained joy. Then there are the serious moments when Joshua is supposed to appreciate the gravity of his discipline with an equaly grave expression of remorse; conversely, a gigantic smile would stretch his frame and his belly would expand and collapse with laughter. Although unstrestrained in his happiness, Joshua listens to his mother's wise instruction quite well (of course, his good behaviour is directly proportional to the number of candles on his birthday cake).

I was discussing with Michal the enviable properties of this stage of life, and we both agreed that we would gladly exchange the dignified world of adulthood, with all its dignified responsibilities, for a more juvenile phase of existence (of course, we are quite aware that the passage into adulthood is an irreversible transition and one that we hadn't voted on). There is a quality of unbriddled joy in the predictable existence of my two year-old nephew, and I imagine in every well-cared for toddler that is exploring the edges of their uncomplicated macrocosms. These are the days when the elements of life that we, the respectable adults, are no longer mesmerized by, fill their little eyes with wonder: the flight of wings on the crystal skies, the budding lillacs on well-accessorized lawns, the moist grass that trembles through their fingers, the white trail of a far-away airplane beyond the hazy clouds...

As I listen to Joshua's outburst of happy, unintelligible sounds, I am somewhat ashamed of how little I appreciate life. Somewhere between the trip to the bank and the red lights on the way back home, joy slippped through the open window, unannounced. I need to consiously travel through the universes of my worries and chase after this fragile lady that my nephew knows so well. Although I no longer can expect someone to guess my nods with delicious meals or fill my living room with eye-pleasing toys, I too am cared for with bounty that exceeds the splendor of summer gardens. My Father, the one who has colored my form with intelligent thought, a rainbow of emotions and breathed life into my spirit, has promised to unceasingly provide for all my needs, as He already has. I forget, or just refuse to, lift my eyes to the heavens and allow my grattitude to shine as bright as the twinkle of their stars. This day, as I savour the moment of the happiness that Joshua is a part of, I thank my God that all is well. Because of Him, I am putting aside the sour cloak of preconditioned frowning that adulthood imparted on me and, like my two year old nephew, I am stepping outside, in my brand new skinny jeans, to chase the puddles of our rainy streets. Maybe today we will catch the rainbow...

No comments:

Post a Comment