Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Both of Them

There is something I love about my son’s outlook on the world. For my son every new experience is the best experience he has ever had. I am envious of his childlike view of life. For my son there is no ranking of things as favorites. Something is either on the “best” list or he doesn’t like it at all. I love trying to get him to rank things as favorites with questions like:
“Who do you like better Spiderman or Superman?” to which he will reply, “both of them!”
“Which do you like better pizza or chicken nuggets?” and the reply will be the same, “both of them!”
“Chocolate or vanilla?”
“Both of them!”
“Blue or Red”
“Both of them!”
“Swimming or riding your bike?”
“Both of them!”
“The Beatles or The Stones?”
Well you get the point.

I’ve been thinking about how when we are children we are so easily moved by things—music, colors, nature, food. For children, especially young children, everything is a new experience, a fresh experience, the best experience ever. But over time we grow up and the things which used to excite us lose their appeal. Maybe it’s because things become too familiar, or too common-place but instead of being people filled with childlike wonder we become experts in analyzing and critiquing. We become so wrapped up in the busyness of living that we cease to be moved by the music, the colors, and the nature all around us. Our “best” lists become more and more narrow and exclusive. And the few who manage to still be moved by life are relegated to the realm of poets and idealists.

It would do us good to get in touch with that place inside us that is not an expert, that is not a technician, that is not concerned with economics and productivity, that simply hears the music and moves, that is still dumbfounded watching the sun set over the ocean, that receives each moment as it comes as the best moment ever.

My dad has a theory that one can stay youthful by trying new things-things outside of one's comfort zone. He believes that the older we get, the safer we play it until life become more defined by what we won’t do than what we are willing to do. So my dad will frequently go for a walk when it’s pouring down rain, or go hiking through the woods during a full moon, or swim in the lake at night. Why? Precisely because it’s something that no respectable person his age would do. That type of behavior is for kids!

I think he may be on to something though.


marcia Anderson said...

I love that kid!!! I was reading Answering God on our vacation camping on Lake Conroe a couple of weeks ago. We had the most wonderful time watching seven days of sunsets and sunrises, various dragonflies of at least five different colors, mama and baby beaver, egret swooping down to catch a snake and flying off with it, mama duck and babies, and best of all Doug's 13 lb bass. God is everywhere and it was one of our best vacations ever. Just simple! Look at my facebook pics if you get a chance titled Psalm 19.

Miss you guys! Good to see your posts!

jeansonne said...

I tried this experiment with Micah.

Batman or Superman?
Both of them

Kung Fu Panda or Wall-e?
Both of them

Mommy or Daddy?
Mommy (what the heck?)

Great blog. Got me thinking.