Health & Parenting, Home & Happiness

December 31, 2018

Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up

Today we took an impromptu trip to the Children’s Museum (basically a giant indoor playground for kids). Our little boy hasn’t spent a lot of time in the outside world yet, so I was excited for him to get to see other kids and interact socially, and who knows, maybe we would get to meet some parents to connect with too. 

We carried him in and set him on the floor and he just stood there taking everything in, smiling at everyone in sight, and looking excited to make some new friends. For a solid thirty minutes he slowly warmed up to his new environment and along came another little boy his age. We watched from a few feet away as they stood at the massive lite brite wall in front of us and soon enough they were both putting lights on the board together, playing peacefully, and stopping to admire each other once in a while. Soon his new unspoken friend left and he was unsure whether to follow - he didn’t. We took him to the market, where we were “greeted” by a boy who yelled something at us and seemed agitated, and by a few other children who nearly plowed us over. I wondered why the little boy seemed so agitated and started to notice that most of the people there didn’t seem as happy and excited as us. I couldn’t help but wonder where their happiness went or what they were going through. Right as my own mood started to shift a little boy came and shook two milk jugs at Aiden, showing him what he found. We put a hat and apron on our little chef baby and let him explore with his mini shopping cart in tow, stopping to appreciate a hot dog, ranch dressing, and mustard, admiring juice and milk jugs. As they started to close he sweetly rushed to visit the staff member on the floor who was putting the toys away and helped put some balls back where they belonged. Our visit was short and although it was a lot more closed off and not as friendly as I’d hoped, my baby filled up my heart with hope and a bittersweet  sadness that their innocence  and wonder doesn’t last forever.

We took a trip to Applebee’s afterward where he gathered the attention of a little girl nearby and soon another little girl on the other side. He became so engrossed in seeing them that he refused to sit in his chair properly and waved at them freely, attempting to communicate his excitement with an occasional squeal and cavemen-esque grunt. One little girl climbed on the table while the other was absorbed in her tablet. I found it fascinating that our parenting styles at the time were so different, yet seemed effective. Aiden played with crayons, ate a banana, and admired the silverware, banging it against the table and playing peek-a-boo with me through a cup.  

My hope is that however different we are and no matter the struggles we’re all going through we never hesitate to see the wonder and the joy in the small things or forget to protect the innocence and foster the kindness in our children’s hearts. While the world around us can seem so dark and times have certainly changed with technology being at the forefront of our minds, it’s so fascinating to sit back and see how a child views the world and how we are shaping their minds with everything we do and the environments we put them in. We don’t all have to agree but I wish everyone could still learn to respect each other and protect and value the lives of others as much as our own. What started as a simple visit to a Children’s Museum ended with me hoping for a better world, one where kids can be kids and we don’t ever have to worry about them growing up or facing heartbreak and finding love and happiness of their own. 


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