Today while walking to the school to pick up the girls with my neighbors, Quinn and his friend Addie fell into stride and their hands slid into one another's with ease. Izzy joined in and for most of the walk there the three of them held hands, talked, and laughed. Angie and I watched and felt a longing for them to stay just as sweet and tender as they were, for time to just stop. We also wished we'd had a camera. On the way home Quinner got ahead of the group and his friend Warren saw him, sprinted towards him, and they too held hands and continued on.
Tonight as I think about this afternoon I feel a little sad. We start out in life so bold, so brave, and, I realize, we often lose part of that along the way. As children we talk to anyone around. We become instant best friends with kids we only just met seconds ago at the park. We make friends of strangers. We hug. We touch. We hold hands. We are magnetically drawn to others. We notice when people feel sad and want to comfort them. Children are so uninhibited. So able to stop and see the beauty of a flower, to wonder at a bug, to notice with awe a rainbow, a sunset, a dandelion. To see that someone needs a friend or a smile and to give it without hesitation.
Children are so sweet. So bold. I think we lose some of that along the way. Quinn had a pocketful of candy from a pinata and on the drive home from the party he'd attended he stated, "oh, there's some laffy taffy in here, Anna likes those a lot, I will give it to her." How often do we look at what we have and think first about who we can share it with? How different would the world be if we could live like our children? If we could be friends with everyone? If we could hold hands and laugh and love as freely as a five year old? If we could love others without hesitation or judgement?
I'm so grateful for the chance to be a mother and for all the learning that comes along with it. Oh, and for my tender hearted Quinn, may he always stay this sweet!