So it is once again time to introduce another Guest Blog post - once again by my talented and amazing husband (he will be hitting me right now for saying that!). I hope you enjoy:
The innocent memory
Being the father of an adventurous and (more than) slightly crazy 18 month old boy is incredible; hard work, but incredible. Constantly, he amazes me at the things he can say, do and, perhaps most of all, remember.
Yesterday was a perfect case in point. I took him for a 90 minute walk in his rucksack (which he is, in all honesty, getting far too big and heavy to be carried around in!), which took us down the canal behind our house, round an industrial estate, to the shops and then back down the canal to home. On the way out, Sam learnt a new word – boat (or, in his speech, ‘bot’, which is close enough). I pointed to a canal boat, told him what it was and he parroted it back to me with great delight!
An hour later, as we were about to get back onto the canal path, he pointed ahead and shouted ‘bot, bot’ before the boat had come into view. Sure enough, it was still there, and for about 5 minutes he excitedly continued to repeat his new word.
He does things like that a lot – pointing and saying ‘orsey’ at the field we passed once 2 weeks ago where there was a white horse, grabbing a book and pointing to the picture of a mug and shouting ‘mug, mug’ at the top of his voice. Everything he learns, he retains, and takes such great delight in it. While in my head he’s the cleverest child ever, I’m sure all toddlers do that too.
Why don’t we do the same thing? Why is it that we can’t remember conversations, diary dates, people’s names? Or when we do learn something new, why does it just blend into the mundanities of everyday life, not standing out and certainly not bringing us pleasure and delight? Some may point out that we have a lot more information stored than a toddler; others that brain cells start dying out and we therefore can’t retain details.
I think there’s something a little less scientific involved though. For many of us, we have simply lost our joy. Whether by circumstances, illnesses, hurt, monotony etc, we become cynical. Rather than embracing new things, we are wary of them. Details about people are less important than our work, and joy is less important than getting tasks done.
Everyday, we learn something new. Whether it be that we meet a new person, find out something new about someone we already know (like when our spouse tells us about their day), learn a new skill or something else. Yet we treat this fact with contempt, ignorance most of the time. Conversations with our partners go in one ear and out the other (if they go in at all), new people blend into the crowd, new skills become lost in the teeming mass of information in our minds.
Why not make a conscious choice to take some joy in life. Celebrate learning something new. Revel in conversations with our families, and rejoice in their experiences. Embrace new challenges, new people. At the end of each day, think ‘what have I learnt today?’, and enjoy a smile that your life has been enhanced and improved by something in the day. Joy is there for everyone; you just have to be willing to see it and grasp it.