The theme of my life lately is this:
When I least expect it (and quite possibly when I need it the most) my kids are teaching me.
Case in point:
The other day, two-year-old Gracie stepped outside the front door and called back to me "Look Mom! A Kangaroo!" At the time I was busying about in the kitchen and, since our little neighborhood in the suburbs of New York is not know for its kangaroo population, I almost didn't stop what I was doing. I almost didn't pay the comment much mind. Almost.
Instead, I stopped. I went over to the door and looked out. Gracie was standing on the front porch pointing up to the clouds. With that wide-eyed expression on her face that kids get. (You know the one.)
When she saw me next to her she cried out again, "A kangaroo! A kangaroo!" And there it was. A kangaroo in the clouds.
Do you ever have those times where you wonder if what you do all day is of great significance in the grand scheme of things? With everyone else rushing around you, hustling, contributing to big things, prioritizing, making plans, taking meetings, moving and shaking, building, reaping rewards. What I do all day may be ordinary, by some standards, but I really like to think that I have always made it one of my top priorities to highlight the extraordinary along the way.
The movers and shakers sometimes balk when I do the stop and smell the roses thing. It slows down the works. Yes, I have been called a daydreamer. Since I was young, actually. And yes, it has been occasionally called to my attention that I, at times, have my head in the clouds.
Well now, apparently, my kids do too.
In fact, just a few minutes ago six-year-old Jack jumped on my lap while I was typing this post and read it to himself. He looked at the picture and said, "I thought it was an "F." No, actually it's a unicorn. Definitely a unicorn."
My children read the clouds and that makes me happy. Taking the time to stop and wonder opens your mind up to all the possibilities out there, big and small. It is a great way to see the world. And I hope they will find that this way of thinking will serve them well as they explore all the opportunities that this world has to offer.
That kangaroo cloud was a reminder to me that the small stuff is big, and the rewards are priceless. And being the person who is there to bear witness to them each day is an honor and a privilege. And stopping to smell the roses is time well spent.
And yet, I know there are those who would say: You got all that from a cloud? Oh, well. So be it.