A fresh look

Sometimes it saddens me to admit it, but I don’t get to spend a lot of time with kids these days. I’ve no children of my own at this point, and there are no little ones in my immediate family (yet). I don’t often encounter the joys that young people can bring into the most unexpected occasions.

This weekend, my good friend Mel visited from Atlanta and brought with her two young children: Stephanie, 8, and Tiffany, 6. Stephanie is a talker and a reader. She’s just discovered the fun of “chapter books,” and she says the first things that come to her mind.

Tiffany is the quiet observer and thinker. She doesn’t say much, but she asks questions because she wants to understand everything (like how I can be both older and taller than her mom and not be married).

Throughout the weekend, we introduced the girls to many of the joys of Okoboji. Absolutely every thing is an adventure when you’re young – from checking into a hotel to going to Wal-Mart, to meeting a pug, to watching a wedding, to checking out the ice on the lake. There’s nothing like a set of fresh young eyes to bring a whole new vision to life.

My favorite thing about kids is their sense of awe for the world. In the world of many adults, myself often included, we’re bored by the repetitive familiarity of everything.

We’ve seen the snow a million times, weddings are common in our schedules, and the things we encounter don’t seem to bring us to that state of awe where children simply live.

This weekend I got to explain to Stephanie that the ice on the lake is only on the surface, so she doesn’t need to worry about the fish freezing. Tiffany and I rediscovered the fun of the deep end of a swimming pool. And the girls helped me find awe in the repetitive familiar things that I see every day in Okoboji. I’ll miss them and their view of life.

May you see things with a hint of freshness this new year. And find childhood wonder in your adventures.