If you ever want to become enlightened, spend the day with a toddler

by AJ Mihrzad on

She screamed and there was cream everywhere! This little trouble maker made a bowl of white sauce explode inside the restaurant.
Most of the sauce splattered on us, but a good portion flew across the table onto the family next to us. The whole place went silent. As I looked over, the sauce was dripping all around me. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

This woman was the mother of two kids sitting at the table. She was wearing an Islamic hijab and all I could see were her eyes which was covered with white sauce. We both looked down at the mess and then slowly looked up directly into each others eyes. We stared at each other in silence. She didn’t say a single word, even though her entire family was covered in sauce. Just by the expression in her eyes, I could tell that she forgave me.
Having kids of her own, I guess she realized that my 3 year old cousin caused the accident. I profusely apologized. I started wiping down her kids and even paid for the entire families’ meal.

For some reason I felt really bad, but my little cousin didn’t seem to give a shit. This whole scene replayed in my mind over and over again while she already moved on to blowing bubbles in her soda. As I looked at her in amazement, it finally hit me! My entire life consisted of replaying all the crappy things that happened to me.The white cream explosion only happened once, but why did I keep thinking of it? The silent family knew it was the three year old’s fault.
She understood. Having children of the same age, but I still felt guilty.

dad-toddler-and-ipad-450At that moment I realized how much I’ve become an adult. In doing so, I lost my inner child somewhere along the way. If you ever want to become enlightened, spend the day with a toddler. Look at the world through their eyes. There’s an innocent wonder where everything is beautiful and magical.We look at a tree and pass it off without a second thought. A child looks at a tree, and sees its thick aged bark with its towering branches. Its powerful presence standing tall above the ground.The roots which are planted deep down, where created over the ages and despite the challenges, it stays firm and just exists. It’s truly a masterpiece if you observe it closely without labeling it.

You can even tell toddlers that the trees can talk. Soon after, they’ll start a conversation with the tree. A toddler’s creativity is actually off the charts! Kids who are tested before the age of four actually have the most creative minds in the world. As they get older, their creativity slowly diminishes and the limiting thoughts start to seep in. Our adult minds become rigid. We lose the fluidity and child-like wonder we once had. After the age of 4 children sense their own mortality, and begin to have a fear death. That’s why I love toddlers; they’ll fear the purple teletubbie over the fear of dying. They don’t play any roles and they don’t care what others think of them. Kids just say what’s on their mind, asking you the most amazing questions. Being so curious about the world around them, they don’t have time to think about the “things” that are missing in their life.

A child’s life is simple. It consists Running around the park in circles, talking to imaginary friends, and creating castles out of cardboard. This is bliss.

As we get older, we are the ones that make life complicated. Deep down inside that inner child still lives in us wanting to come out. We just have to tap into that kid every so often to remind us that life truly is magical. In fact I try to do it everyday. If you see me speaking to a tree don’t judge me.

Man, life was so simple back then.

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