Embracing the intimate, gentle delights of childhood
Being a parent can be overwhelming at times. We want to do the very best for our child and sometimes this sees us going to great lengths - spending lots of money, taking our babies to big, noisy events, choosing the shiniest, brightest and best toys…
But perhaps we can let go of the sensational and focus on the intimate, gentle delights of childhood? In fact, maybe the small-scale, organic experiences of every day life actually provide the richest, most nuanced experiences that allow our children to grow into adults that feel and appreciate subtlety and deep meaning.
But what would this look like?
Rather than playing ‘pop versions’ of kids songs with strong drum beats, driving bass lines and harmonies galore… try singing to your baby. Just your unaccompanied voice. Gaze into your little one’s eyes and sing.
Or rather than going to the playground with the climbing equipment, slides and sandpit… try sitting under a tree. The longer you sit, the more you’ll notice - the texture of the bark, the smell of the leaves, an ant trail or interesting pebble.
Older children may want to climb the tree or explore this resource from the Victorian National Parks Association. But just sitting or having a cuddle under a tree can be a glorious way to embrace nature.
Or maybe instead of setting up a craft table with store-bought art supplies like paint, brushes and paper… you could create a masterpiece out of natural materials found in your own backyard or local green space.
All you need to do is slow down, look at things through your child’s eyes and find the joy in the tiny things that are part of your every day lives together - a worm spotted in the garden, the sound of water dripping off the roof long after the rain has stopped, a patch of sunlight on the floor of your lounge room, the smell of garlic and onions frying in the pan, a collection of sticks gathered on a walk…
If you value the small things that bring such joy to your little person, they’ll grow up appreciating them too.