Saturday morning, I was sitting at my desk, busy clearing some hard-drive space in my laptop for my next online course. My wife and I have 3 beautiful children, all under the age of 7, so our home is rarely quiet. However, during this moment, over the make-believe voices of Barbie and LOL dolls, I heard my 2-year-old son, Bennett, pouncing at something saying “gotcha” as he lurched forward, clasping his hands together.
Recently, a friend of mine wrote a blog about seeing the world through the lens of a child. Her blog was a good reminder to see the beauty in the daily grind that we seem to lose focus on in our middle age, but tend to refocus on as we reach the later years of life. It really stuck with me and the timing of her blog was impeccable. A week before my friend wrote her blog, Santa brought me some Enchroma colorblind correcting sunglasses. This “seeing the world through a different lens” theme has been resonating with me lately.
When Bennett pulled my attention away from my computer, I was kind of overwhelmed by what he was doing. He was playing in a beam of light that was coming through the window. Small particles were illuminated and floating in the light. Bennett was enthralled with what he was seeing; he was adamant on catching the light that was so close, yet too quick to be caught. Reading this back, it seems as if I’m describing a cat trying its hardest to catch a laser light, but stick with me, it was much more than that.
When Santa Clause delivered my Enchroma sunglasses it was night-time. I was teased by the glasses trying them indoors; I could definitely tell something was different. That night, I saw true pink for the first time in a Bubble Guppies book. I was really anxious to see what they would do in some sunlight. The next morning, on the way to work, I saw the sunrise in all its glory for the first time in my life. I could see the gradient of color working its way up from the horizon. I’ve never seen that many shades of color. I definitely did NOT shed any man tears…trust me.
By this point, Bennett was rolling his fat little wrists in and out of the light, similar to surfing the breeze with your car window down on a beautiful spring day. I slowly leaned down, pulled my camera out of its bag, and turned it on to capture this moment. The red battery indicator light was screaming at me through the viewfinder so I knew I had to adjust for exposure quick. I managed to snag a few shots that captured that moment perfectly. He could feel the heat from the sun on his palm. The light was reflecting off his hand, into his face, filling those beautiful baby blues with enough light to capture the wonder in his eyes. It was powerful.
What happens in the middle years of our lives? What makes us blind to these moments? Are we looking too far forward, waiting for the next Friday, the next weekend, the next day off to hit the pause and take a look around? It’s similar to me walking through my 33 years of life blind to a world saturated in color. However, I couldn’t see what I couldn’t see. I needed the special lenses to see and appreciate the world for what it really is.
Good news! We don’t need special glasses to see the world through child’s eyes. We just need to be present long enough to focus on what’s in front of us. Children don’t really understand the concept of time, they just live in the moment.