A child’s sense of wonder and excitement is an amazement to me. I find myself thinking about it often these days. Do you ever see your child’s reaction to something mundane and feel so surprised?

With a child entering school soon, I realize the day of endless love of learning, experiencing everything as if it were an adventure, and excitement at even the small things in life are nearing their expiration. Learning will become a required task. Small things will become less exciting and new. Excitement will lessen, dwindle. There will be more calm. Well, somewhat.

While I have honestly enjoyed each stage of increased independence and abilities, I tend to dread this particular aspect of growing up. Remember when rolling down a hill, or playing in the grass was so fun you could do it all day? I do, a bit. What about seeing a new city and being mesmerized by the buildings? Seeing new animals at the zoo? Seeing who can run the fastest across the lawn? Seeing my child’s reaction helps me revisit my own childlike sense of wonder, and experience something as she does.

One of my favorite parts of the toddler and preschool years is how easily friendships form. My daughter walked up to a little girl at the park and told the girl her name, then said “Let’s play over there.” And that was it. Another time a boy hugged her goodbye after playing for a half hour at a playplace, like they were old friends. I love their spontaneity, their love of fun and lack of inhibition. And I can’t help thinking, how much longer will it last? I don’t know the answer, not yet, but I do know I’m going to try to enjoy this time as much as I can.

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