Forgotten Delights

Adulthood… parenthood… synchronous with the belief that we teach our children… yet when we open our eyes, we have so much to learn from them…

Somewhere between infancy and adulthood, too many children lose their delight in the sheer enjoyment of just experiencing a moment… Somewhere in the decades, the striving for perfection and intolerance of imperfection ruins the simple, the beautiful, the magical…

Some weeks ago, my little family and I spent the long weekend down at the beach, celebrating my birthday. On Saturday afternoon, whilst my husband and daughter caught up on an afternoon siesta, I lay reading a book on the veranda couch. Christian, who had been riding his bike around the complex, spotted a kite flying on the beach below. He abandoned all else and became engrossed in the majestic fabric bird, swirling and twirling below… He stood mesmerised, entranced for what seemed like an eternity, in this fascinating science involving the colliding partnership of wind currents and nylon …

I called him over and began telling him about the kites I had constructed as a child- simple, plastic, and wood structures that brought hours of entertainment. His face lit up, and he became determined to make his own…

I reached for the first available encyclopaedia on the matter, YouTube, and we lay on the couch together and watched a few simple, instructional videos on the subject… All the while, his excitement growing… the energy ignitable…

Miraculously over the next few hours, we were able to get together the pieces of equipment we needed for this adventurous project- dial rods, plastic bags, string and masking tape… a glorious combination for an enquiring and creative six-year-old mind…

We worked together, intently, and although I knew that the end result had numerous design flaws, to Christian, it was perfection…

By this time, it was evening, and my excited little boy had to wait patiently until the next day, hoping that the wind would rise up and gust along the beachfront again…

It did, and at the first sign of a breeze, Christian proudly strode onto the beach with his creation, tearing around with it, watching it tussle and turn… Despite the many mechanical faults, which inhibited the kite from catching any hope of a breath of wind, joy erupted, his face was alight, and he beamed as he watched his kite waltz energetically to the dance of the wind…

I stood on the wooden boardwalk contemplating the fun, the laughter, the awe… observing the immense sense of accomplishment and pride which saturated every essence of my child’s soul…

A gentleman walked up from the late afternoon beach, and as he passed me, he mentioned with a smile, “I don’t think that kite’s going anywhere” … I responded, “No, it’s not… but my boy’s joy is going everywhere” …

Dear Mom, dear Dad… our judgment of the imperfections on any part of life, theirs and ours, robs our children of their delight in the sheer enjoyment of just experiencing a moment… Our striving for perfection and intolerance of imperfection ruins the simple, the beautiful, the magical…

Before you pass comment on the inevitable failures, the misaligned creations, the disastrous outcomes of childhood imaginations, before you instruct and correct… open your mind to learning from your children… to recognising that perfection does not equate to happiness and contentment… Learn to enjoy life, simply through the uncontaminated experience of living in the small moments, of breathing in their beauty. When plans don’t turn out, make the best of them anyway… run, dance, twirl, leap… and never, ever underestimate the simple process of bringing dreams to life to create endless joy and delight…

The magnificence and the rapture in the simple… a multitude of lessons to be learnt from children…

Things don’t have to be perfect to bring the wonder, beauty, and joy…

Children don’t need perfection… They need parents who take an interest, parents who will adventure life alongside them even through inevitable failures… They need parents who will learn from them, and parents who will be reminded of the purity, the delight, and the unparalleled ecstasy that is present in the imperfect journey of life…

Be enthralled… be amazed…

With motherly love
Naomi
❤️

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