(Or, what I learned from a 6-month old girl in church yesterday.)
I was watching the behaviour of a wee girl who was sitting a few rows in front of us in church yesterday. I was totally captivated by her. Her eyes were wide-open, taking in everything that was happening around her. I began to wonder what was going on in her head – I think it went something like this (probably reveals more of what was going on in my own!).
Who’s that coming to sit beside us? Oh, it’s gran and granpa.
What’s gran passing to Mum? Oh, it’s just a photo… but it’s in an envelope – now that’s got possibilities. Let’s have a closer look. Where’s my hand gone? It’s in the envelope! Cool! I’m going to do that again! Aye, it still works – the hand disappears.
Ooh that’s my auntie sitting right in front of me. She’s turning round – she looks happy. What’s that shiny thing on her finger? Ah, her wedding ring – it feels funny.
Here’s Mum’s bag. I wonder how the buckle tastes? Mmm, I like that. What about the other buckle? That tastes good too. Auntie’s turn around again – her long,black hair looks fun; think I’ll grab some see what happens.
I see, Mum doesn’t seem to think that’s such a good idea! She’s put me on the seat beside her and now I can’t reach the hair. If I lean forward, I can fold over.
Oh, we’re standing up now. Hey, there’s a funny guy with a beard behind me. Wait, there’s another one – you don’t see that every day.
Think we’re going to creche now. What will I find there?
Maybe she didn’t think any of that. But she got me thinking about curiosity and wonder and engaging in the world without hiding behind self-conscious societal norms. Maybe it’s time to rediscover the child of wonder inside my middle-aged carcass.