It's easy, I think, to get bogged down. I, for one, am very guilty of missing the forest because of all these troublesome trees. That is when I'm the most grateful for the presence of a preschooler in my life.
The view from about three feet above the floor is a lovely one, full of optimism and promise. Everything is very straightforward, people are either good guys or bad guys, and the people in charge always have a plan- and it's usually a darned good one, too! If you have an available preschooler, and can take the time to actually explore his or her point of view, you'll be amazed at how uplifting it is.
The flat out JOY is the best part. Joy over everything... joy over nothing. The scruffy, smelly, sometimes ill-behaved dog becomes "the goodest goodest dog in the whole wide world!", and inspires an impromptu songwriting session. A visit from Grandmama leads to whooping cheers of "I'm so excited!!!!! I'm so excited!!!!!", even if she just saw her grandmother yesterday. Every birthday gift is greeted with open mouthed wonder.
Small One is not unique in this gift of joy.When she was a small person, MC was exactly this exuberant. We called her Tigger. (Now we sometimes call her Darth Tigger, but that's another story, for another day.) I look at her sometimes and feel a great tenderness for the little girl who used to be so inordinately happy over the tiniest things, and I hope she still retains some of that in her soul. I honestly can't imagine how the parents without preschoolers make it through the surly teenage years.
I want what Small has. I try to remember to share in her joy, because that kind of ebullience feels wonderful! I can't even explain how easily a bad day is lightened after I've joined one of Small's games or jokes. It's even scriptural- "the joy of the Lord is your strength", "rejoice always". Remembering to take a minute and just appreciate the world the way she does, immerse myself in the joy of it, I will confirm, I do feel renewed and strengthened.
Yesterday, I was under the weather, trying to fight off a cold, feeling pretty low. I decided the best course of action would be to stay home and try to rest as much as possible, so I put a movie on for Small, and snoozed while she watched it. Afterward, we practiced letters on an erasable book she has, and then she played in her room by herself for awhile, with me happily listening in on the conversations between bears, the songs being sung, the fun being had. In a little while, I suggested we go downstairs for a snack, and some coloring.
You would have thought I'd invited her to the circus, and told her she'd get to ride the ponies and fly with the acrobats. She began jumping up and down, waving her arms in giant circles, yelling "Yaay Yaay Yaay! I'm SO excited!!!" I told her we could have apple slices and cheese. Blissed out hysteria ensued. She asked if she could have a banana, too. When I answered in the affirmative, the crowd went wild. (And by "the crowd", I mean Small, her teddy bear, and the always eager to participate dog. You know, my homies.)
As we entered the kitchen, Small still whooping, cheering, and waving her arms, I noticed we were out of bananas. I turned to her and said "Uh oh, no bananas.". She froze in her tracks, arms still up in the air. She didn't move a muscle as she asked, "Can we still have apples? And cheese? And color?" I said yes, and she went back to her previous routine. "Yaay yaay yaay! I'm so excited! I'm so excited!"
When faced with the little disappointments of life, I want what she's having.