March 11, 2014

Perspective: Lessons from a One-Year-Old

This winter has been rough. Very rough. We moved the first day of winter, and soon after it snowed so much that all five of us were trapped in the house for days. One of my goals for this year is to get out of the house with Evan at least once a week. By January 4th, when the biggest snow hit, that goal seemed like a joke. I see some numbers in the forecast beginning with a six, so there's hope this winter will end, but there's also more snow expected this week.

What makes this winter easier is that Evan is fascinated by the snow. He smiles at the snow, talks to it, shows it to his stuffed beaver. Even stuck inside watching it from his window, it's fun to him. As much as I'd like to just up and move to California, I am glad my kids will get to experience all four seasons living in Indiana. He'll get to play in the snow and the rain and the crunchy leaves.

Perspective. It's all about perspective.

As another illustration of this, I really do not like house centipedes. While I generally love all creatures great and small, including snakes and possums, I draw the line with the house centipede. I'm convinced they're the result of The Fall because these creepy demon bugs could not have existed in Eden. I think I've made my point.

So imagine my reaction when I came out into the living room and saw Nenya and Evan both watching a house centipede dashing across the floor, Nenya trying to snap at it. I did what any sensible person would do and grabbed a tissue and obliterated it. And how did Evan react? He was distraught. He started sobbing and threw himself on the floor, a very rare occurrence for him. While he's obviously too young to understand the concepts of life and death, he was having fun watching the centipede run across the floor with Nenya chasing after it. I had taken his entertainment away.

Now that was a good dose of perspective. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to kill the next one I see, but what a shock to realize my son could actually find such a creepy bug fun.

While I'm teaching Evan about the world, he's also teaching me.


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