First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa

    Through the Eyes of a Child


    by Diane Cretin

    Our household is comprised of three generations of people. This has enabled me to spend quality time with my grandson James, who was born June 3. Living with an infant is eye opening. When you fully focus on him, you begin to see the world through his eyes. This is a wonderful thing as his mind has not yet been limited by expectations put on him by society.

    James knows nothing of pandemics and restrictions. James believes there are exciting things to see, people to experience, and body movements to conquer. His world is a world of wonder. One that could be a positive experience for those of us who are older if we are willing to slow down and look around us.

    James has a night sky that projects on our ceiling. It has clouds that roll in, then stars that shine before fading away. It cycles for hours during the night. James adores it. His wonder with our artificial sky has caused me look to the night sky outside more and renew my wonder at the beauty of creation and God’s goodness to us.

    James thinks light is fascinating. If you see him outside after worship and he is looking past you, most likely he is focusing on light passing through leaves.

    James loves his people. His smile is joyful when he sees Mommy, Daddy, sister Olivia, Gramps, and I. I spend about an hour with James before work to give his parents time to get ready for their day. When he sees me as I say “Good Morning” and gives me his beaming smile, my day gets better. He recently expanded his repertoire from just smiling to making happy sounds. I try to mimic his sounds back to him so we can have a conversation. This can go on for minutes. It is a joy-filled time.

    So what can we who are older than James do to have a joyful spirit?

    One option would be to disconnect from our phones and television for extended periods of time. Take a walk if you are physically able. Look around slowly and see what is there. Is there a blooming flower? A bee pollinating a plant? A hummingbird coming in for some nectar? Some people chatting and laughing as they catch up on each other’s news?

    Are your children, grandchildren, or spouse/partner trying to get your attention to spend quality time with them? Play some cards or a board game, cook a meal, or do some kind of art together. When we are too engaged with electronic devices, we miss wonderful experiences that include looking into a person’s eyes. Also, don’t forget how enjoyable it can be to immerse yourself in a good book.

    Thomas Jefferson said, “The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.” Let us all try to regain our child-like wonder.

    Continued blessings, Diane

    Published on October 12, 2021


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