In a child’s world, everything is perfect. Nothing is off-limits to see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Through their inner world, they learn more about the outer world. That begins their journey of experiencing life. They keep exploring new things with their uniqueness, imagination and creativity. They have no fear of being adventurous; they have unbound spontaneity. Time with children can be joyful and memorable moments. It reminds me of when I was once a kid and of the love my parents gave me. And yet, I still have this side of me living in my heart. It brings more color, more fun and more joy in my life.
August was a great month for me – had an inspiring vacation, got lots of sunlight, met new friends and spent time with old friends. Two weeks ago, I had a wonderful weekend with my friend, Joan and her daughter, Juliette in New Jersey. We went grocery shopping, had frozen yogurt, played in the park and enjoyed the down time staying at home. When Juliette smiled, I was delighted. When Juliette sang, I clapped. When Juliette danced, I was energized. Juliette is such an adorable, beautiful, smart twenty-two months old and absolutely curious about everything around her. Although she speaks with very limited vocabulary at the moment, she understands English, Mandarin, French and Cantonese. She likes running around and exploring her own adventure, singing her favorite songs whenever she has a moment, dancing when the music is in the right beat and touching everything whatever it draws her attention. There is no doubt that Juliette is a 21st century baby. She loves modern inventions and technologies and would not miss any chance to explore any of them like car key, nail clipper, A/C power plug, and her most favorite one - cell phone. Whenever she sees a cell phone was ‘available’ in her peripheral, she claims the ownership right away. When she gets it, her tiny fingers excitingly press the keyboards over and over again. She is so focused and her face is like saying: “I must know the secret of this machine!” Juliette is also a super foodie. She likes watermelon, steamed roasted pork bun, wontons, seaweeds, blue cheese and olives. Basically, whatever you give her that is edible; she would eat it without hesitation. I am amazed how much Juliette enjoys her food. Her taste buds have an incredible acceptance comparing to the kids in her age. She is definitely an easy going little one when comes to food.
I spent the day watching Joan take care of Juliette from giving her bath, to putting her to bed, I was actually quite exhausted. Don’t get me wrong. I had a very good time and yet I learned a very important lesson. The biggest challenge of being a parent is the practice of being patient and self-aware. The job is 24/7 a day. We give guidance to our children without reinforcing our collective thoughts of “what should be” or interrupting the freedom of individual self-expression and creation. With trust, we see the ability and strength of our children. With acceptance, we support the choice of our children. The relationship and bonding between Joan and Juliette is irreplaceable. I am so touched by Joan’s unconditional love and so proud of her being a great mom (also, to those of you who are parents). She keeps growing and learning how to be a parent day by day. Parenting is a life-time commitment. There is no easy task, but, the experience is rewardable especially when you see this little ‘bean’ is growing stronger every day. I hope one day I will take on the challenge too.
Love and light,