“It’s amazing how fast they grow!”
As parents, we both hear and say this phrase all the time. But we can’t help it, because within a blink, our small children are walking and talking and sharing with us their ideas and … it’s amazing how fast they grow, isn’t it?
Sometimes, I won’t even notice. Sometimes, my 3-year-old son will be sitting peacefully in the back seat of our car and he’ll suddenly point out that the dog being walked along the side of the street “looks sad and hungry, and can we give him one of my snacks, Mom?”
And I wonder, how did you become so empathetic? How on earth did I miss that?
But we do, we miss things. Because it’s amazing how fast they grow.
So lately, I’ve been trying to notice. I’ve been intentional about observing my child as he runs and plays and devours the good of every single day, and do you know what I see?
I see a young and curious boy with a heart so sensitive and keen that he seems more grown up than my own self.
And I am so proud of him.
My child has become so aware of his surroundings. He picks up on people’s emotions and of the repercussions of our decisions. He listens well, and he’s figuring out the cause and effect of his actions throughout the day. He is smart and intuitive, and the best part about this revelation is that his awareness is so pure.
At this stage of his life, my son’s emotions are genuine and raw, and there is no ulterior motive to the way he feels or reacts. What he sees and how he responds to his surroundings are his absolute, authentic self being presented to the world, and it is a beautiful thing to watch.
As his parent, it is my great responsibility to not only notice this awareness, but to nurture it, too. So I’m trying my best to belabor on what I see from him. When he reacts to something, I now can reach out and ask my son, “How are you feeling about that?” or “Do you want to talk about it?” And almost always, he will respond. He will give me answers I never had before, we will have intellectual conversations we’ve never had before, and I will learn from him.
As I always do.
The more we observe our fast growing children, the more we begin to understand them and respect them for who they are and who they are trying to become. And we must pay attention, because it’s amazing how fast they grow. Isn’t it?
About the Author
Angela Tewalt is a writer and mother to two boys. She shares parenting stories and Montessori inspiration at Guidepost Parent.
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