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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hamburger Seeds and Orange Pickles

"I don't like those hamburger seeds."

"These orange pickles are nummy!"

I complain and poke fun at being a mom, but in all reality some of my favorite moments in life have come since I have had children. Sometimes these moments are the big things, like watching your child walk for the first time or seeing them off on their first day of kindergarten. Lately though it has been the little things that have been special.

I just love how my kids see the world. They look at life with such a simple, unfiltered perspective that it's hard not to notice how jaded and overly subjective we can become as adults. From my daughter picking out the craziest outfits to wear, completely uncaring about how stylish or coordinated her clothes are, to my youngest son wearing food all over his face all day long. Life sure would be easier if we didn't care as much about our appearances as we sadly do.

My kids also process emotions in such a basic, pure way. If I'm feeling sad, they notice and give me hugs right away, without me even asking for a snuggle. If my kids are angry with one another they might be pulling each out other's hair in one moment, but then reading each other books in the next. A child's ease of forgiving is truly a skill we should all strive for.

And their imagination is incredible too. I think I'm creative if I find a new way to organize my desk at work, but my children build glorious castles with chairs, blocks, pillows and blankets with so much care and detail that they put my meager attempts of creativity to shame.

I love when we are paying for something at a store, and they ask questions like, "Why do we have to give them money?" Or when we drive home from school and my daughter asks, "Why can't animals drive cars?" They seem to ask a million of the silliest questions. Although I often get overwhelmed with hearing the words, "But why mama?" over and over each day, I am thankful they are curious and seeking understanding.

Sometimes their basic comprehension can trip me up, like when my youngest son recently asked me where Elf on the Shelf went. I was busy when he asked and I started to say, "Packed up with the Christmas decorations." Luckily I caught myself just in time, glanced up at him, smiled and said, "He went back to see Santa. He'll be back again next Christmas."

The honesty and openness in how children describe situations can be very funny too. Last summer my oldest son said to me while we were swimming in the neighborhood pool, " Mom, these are called private shooters." I was very confused and had no idea what he was referring to. I said, "What do you mean?" He pointed to the pool's jets and matter-of-factly said, "These are private shooters because they always shoot my privates."

Sometimes their honesty can hurt, even though they don't mean for it to. Like when my daughter tells me that I "don't look very pretty today," or my "tummy looks fat" (sorry kid, that's what three pregnancies in four years will do to you!). My toddler likes to lovingly touch the crows feet (fine wrinkles) around my eyes and enjoys trying to find the increasingly gray hairs on my head, like he's playing a seek-and-find game.

I generally take it all in stride. Most of the time, my kids are just observing, they are not trying to be hurtful.

So when my oldest son blatantly tells me that he, "loves daddy more than me- but only by 2 inches," I try not to get my feelings hurt. Instead I enjoy the moment of comical description and remember that before I know it he won't be speaking his mind in this simple way anymore.

And if you are wondering, hamburger seeds are sausage pizza topping and orange pickles are cooked carrots.

What I found in my bed a few nights ago when they were all supposed
to be in their own rooms trying to go to sleep.

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