Friday, September 30, 2011

Lessons from a Dead Beetle

There is a dead beetle outside our front door. This is not something I would normally be aware of or pay any attention to if it weren't for Reese running to the door multiple times a day saying, "bug! bug!" She actually wants to go out and see this dead bug. She crouches down next to it and points and says "shhh" and I let her believe that it's just sleeping. This has been a part of our routine for almost a week now and you would think I would just get rid of the bug, but I can't because it seems like such a highlight in her day.

Discovering grass
Well, this afternoon we were out on the patio looking at the bug (again), and I started to think about how incredibly fascinating life must be for Reese. I look at the bug and think, "Seriously? It's a dead bug. It's gross." But to a toddler who's never seen a beetle? What an important discovery! Whenever she's fascinated by something new, she always looks up at me and says a few words in her baby jibberish, which I interpret as, "Mommy, don't you see this wonderful thing I found? Come look at it!" So I come and look at it, and we both see something equally amazing. She's amazed by the bug. I'm amazed by her amazement. And then suddenly I start to remember what it means to be fascinated with simple things in life. 

Investigating my cell phone
Sometimes I wonder why I stopped finding life so fascinating. As I sit here now and ponder the reasons, neither one is really surprising. One, I'm busy. I'm too busy for this, too busy for that. And certainly too busy to marvel at a sunset (and even if I do, it's a fleeting second of, "oh, that's pretty" and then I continue on to the next task). Two, it's part of my routine. There is so much beauty around me every day like the view from our patio or the clear night sky, but I never notice them anymore because I take for granted that they will always be there.

Examining Flowers
It's hard to believe that there was a point in time when I was a toddler and I was amazed by dead bugs. Somewhere along the way I forgot how wonderful it is to be in awe of the world. Having a child has re-opened that fascination in my life. I am in complete awe of everything Reese does from brushing her hair to saying a new word. From the first moment I held her all the way to watching a dead bug be dead, I've never stopped being amazed by her existence. I could stare at her toes, the curls in her hair, or the dimple in her cheek for hours without ever getting bored. I could spend all day marveling at God's ability to so perfectly mesh two sets of DNA into the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, or how His guidance brought me through so many choices, changes, and obstacles to land me in the middle of this wonderful life with this wonderful family. 

Despite her limited vocabulary and lack of any significant life experience, I can't believe how much I learn about life, love, and myself from my kid. Reese's fascination with life reminds me to never just walk by something fantastically beautiful without taking a minute to stop and get lost in a moment of total amazement; to never take simple things in life for granted; and to cherish every moment I get to spend in complete awe of her every move... even if all we're doing is watching a dead bug sleep.

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