i have just begun babysitting a precious almost-two-year-old boy three days a week in the afternoons - what's best, river can tag along. yesterday was the second day i took care of little isaac. we spent some time playing outside, and when he got tired, he climbed up on the big swing with river and me, his hair full of sand and his temples damp with the humidity that hung in the air. do you see the trees? the wind is moving them. listen... do you hear the wind? listen to the trees. wooooosh. i said. he got real still, and listened. he craned his neck to look up at the trees and their leaves rustling and their branches waving.
what else do you hear, isaac? do you hear cars?
and oh! i hear dogs...
and birds. they are flapping their wings, and singing! tweet, tweet.
that's right, you hear an airplane!
it was the sweetest moment. we sat on the swing for a while, just listening to the big world outside his backyard, the things we saw and the things we couldn't see. at one point, a motorcycle revved its engine, and he gasped and looked at me, as if to say did you hear that?! i was amazed at how aware he was, and i think he was amazed at all the things he was hearing. to be honest, i had to really listen myself, to actually point sounds out to him. sounds that surround us every day, but we are so busy and our focus is on more important things than the wind playing in the tree branches.
children will do that to you. they'll bring you back to the little things that make life a lovely thing to live.