January 4, 2011

Through A Child’s Eyes


I’m in the Bay Area, which you knew if you read my post yesterday about Jessica’s 9 question New Year meme. CycleGuy is back to work and it’s me and BabyGirl during the day. Trying to get into a bit of a routine because we still have schoolwork and violin practice to accomplish daily. But there is so much to see and discover.

As a mom, sometimes I navigate my day with a focus that is so sharp that I don’t see anything else going on. It’s like a stare where you’re transfixed on one thing that you wouldn’t even notice if unicorns were flying or if a leprechaun was dancing at your feet. It’s kind of like the opposite of mom-vision. That super power that moms have where we can see through walls at eyes rolling when we ask for the umpteenth time to do something or to see through a closed door a toddler playing instead of sleeping. You know that ‘mom vision’ I speak of, yes?

So here I am in this fascinating city, and the surrounding area, and I’m trying to check off math pages, language arts sentence construction and sticker charts for violin. All the while BabyGirl is reading the Sunday newspaper Food section and asking about restaurants and events she finds interesting. And what do I tell her? I’ll look at it later, maybe we’ll have time,  or I’m not sure.

What’s wrong with me?

On January 1st we all took the BART into the city to go to the Boudin shop so BabyGirl could go on the little tour they have. We ate at the upstairs Bistro so we could sit and look out at the bay, talking about Alcatraz. She was very disappointed to find out that when she goes to Alcatraz there will be no prisoners. She figured if it was a prison it should have prisoners. Makes sense, right. We explained that it’s now a National Park and they allow people to visit to see a historical site. She’s still interested in going, but she’d really like if it were a real prison.

We spent most of the afternoon walking along the Embarcadero reading signs, looking in buildings, talking about the different seafaring vessels we saw. BabyGirl was fascinated by all of this new stuff. Things we sure do not see in land-locked Phoenix. Still, I’ve seen these things before and that sharp focus with an eye on getting to the destination is keeping me from really seeing the beauty and uniqueness around me.

I point out Coit Tower and the TransAmerica building, wholly wanting BabyGirl to ooh and ahhh over my knowledge about these two landmarks. What she really wants is for me to know more about crane tugs and why there are two right next to this particular pier. What she wants me to tell her about is why all the trolly cars are different colors and have different names. What she really wants is for us to get back on the BART and ride it to Oakland so she can go under the water and see what it’s like.

Boring, nothing special is what my mind is telling me to say. But I don’t. One day soon we’ll get on the BART and ride it to Oakland and she’ll see for herself that it’s not an amusement park ride experience. Instead it’s a train car in a concrete tube and you can’t see anything. I can’t spoil that experience for her though. She needs to see it through her own eyes. I need to see it through her eyes.

And I need to blink my eyes until they adjust and begin to see this amazing city not as a place where we live for now but as the gem that BabyGirl sees. All sparkly and new and pretty and fancy and so beautiful. Really, we should all stop and for a few hours each day look at the world with a child’s eyes, not with the filter of the adult we are (or are supposed to be). Truly with the eyes of a child to see that hiding in the racks of clothing is fun and not an annoyance, touching all the different surfaces isn’t a disgusting germy thing rather it’s a way to experience the physical nature of our world.

The world through the eyes of a child is a very different world that the one I see through my laser-corrected eyes. And sometimes I know I need to be reminded that there is beauty, interest and fun in the mundane and everyday. Thanks for reminding me, BabyGirl.

Do you often go through your day and at the end can’t describe any of it? I do. But kids don’t. They see things we don’t. Wouldn’t you like to see that world too? At least sometimes?



Kim P. January 4, 2011 at 7:20 am

Ah, Sara, you truly are a special lady! You do get it! That sometimes we need to stop and truly see the world differently, through your child’s eyes or even someone else. You get a whole different experience when opened to it. You wrote a beautiful and very inspiring post.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang January 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

Oh, that is really beautiful. Great job!

Hollee January 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Yes, yes, yes! That is one reason that I’m so excited to homeschool in the fall. (Query whether a naturally impatient mom should take on the task, but I digress.) Have a terrific time on your trip!

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