She’s four years old. I still remember the absolute wonder of the day she was born. I remember almost nothing else about that day. Just her. Just not being willing to set her down. Holding her and staring at her and shooing away the nurses who tried to insist that I sleep. There is so much time for sleeping. That wonder, those moments are mine. And hers.
She’s four. She asks about things like what happened when she was born. She asks about everything really. She wants to understand the whole world. She is aggressively curious. What is? Why does? What will happen if? My little scientist.
She is creative. She tells me long stories about rainbows and dogs, about ponies and dragons, about what she thinks it would be like if we were fish, or tigers, or could fly. She invents new ways of making everything work and play.
She is so friendly that it worries me. She talks to everyone. She has no sense of strangers. She has no idea that some people may be busy, or even not interested in her. She is so friendly that despite a few wild-eyed looks from strangers thrown in my direction, most people talk to her. They learn that she can hold her breath, and swim. Or that Daddy is allergic to cats. Or that she wants “a pet rabbit because it’s not a carnivore.”
She is full of wonder and wonderful. If there’s anything I can give her, if there’s anything that I wish for her, it’s this:
Hold on to your wonder, Baby. People will tell you to set it aside. People will tell you to sleep. People will tell you a million reasons that you shouldn’t look at the world with wonder. People will tell you that roly-poly bugs are ordinary. They will tell you that dragons aren’t real. They will try to make you ordinary so that you can fit in the little boxes that life carves out. Don’t let them. Hold onto your wonder. I’m right beside you. I’ll help, but mostly it’s up to you.
Hold tight to your wonder and dance along the tops of the little boxes. You are amazing. You are wonderful. Stay full of wonder.