Sharon Randall: Through the eyes of a child

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 24, 2011

Do you remember long ago when the world was new? When every morning was a beginning, and every evening was a promise of the mysteries and miracles waiting to unfold?
When did we stop seeing everything ó dogs and people, beads of water and blades of grass ó with the wide-eyed wonder of a child?
Why did we stop? Is it too late to start again?
My 10-month-old grandson ó my first and, so far, only grandchild ó is teaching me to take another closer look at life. So far, I am liking what I see.
Take the way Randy looks at his mom. I have known for years ó since I first spotted her next door in her grandmotherís window watching my youngest work out in our backyard ó that she was beautiful.
But you should see the way Randy looks at her. To him, she is not only the most beautiful creature alive (even more beautiful than his two yellow Labs); she is his salvation.
I remember that look. Itís how Randyís dad used to look at me. You donít forget a look like that. Speaking of his dad, you should see the way Randy looks at him.
We were sitting together in his pen one day, the boy and his nana, pushing buttons on his Mickey Mouse airplane to make Mickey say, ěWelcome aboard, pal!î and (my personal favorite) ěHot dog! Plutoís window is shaped like a triangle!î
Suddenly the front door flew open and in walked Superman. But instead of tights and a cape, he was disguised as a teacher in khaki pants and plaid shirt.
ěHey, Mom,î said the teacher, grinning. ěHey, little buddy!î
The boy lit up, quivering with delight, lifting his chubby arms and wiggling his fingers open and shut, begging to be picked up ó which, of course, he was.
And I was left alone in the pen, pushing Mickeyís buttons and pondering a question: What if we all greeted one another with such joy? Wouldnít it make the hours we spend together richer?
Babies look at everything as if theyíre seeing it for the first time, which, in some cases, they are.
Later that day, I was making cookies (no-bake peanut butter, chocolate and oatmeal, a favorite for my kids when they were growing up, and a hopeless addiction for me). Randy was ěhelping,î sitting in his walker, trying to climb up my leg like a cat clawing its way up a tree.
When the cat failed to get higher than my knee, he rolled his walker over to the trash can, grabbed the edge of the liner and proceeded to lick it clean.
I am a firm believer in the Law of Little-Kid Distraction: If you take something away, youíd best replace it with something better.
So I handed him a wire whisk. He looked at me as if Iíd just invented fire. For the next 10 minutes, he studied that whisk ó chewed on it, babbled to it, poked his fingers in its wires, banged it on his walker and shrieked at it with glee. It bought me enough time to finish making the cookies and eat about half of them.
Who knew that a kitchen gadget could be so captivating? Or that feeding Cheerios to dogs could be so much fun? Or hiding under a blanket could be such an adventure? Or catching sunbeams barehanded could be so tricky? Or reading the same book twice, upside-down, could be so enlightening? Or pouring water from a cup into a bathtub filled with a rubber duck, a motorized sea otter and one slippery little boy could be an endless source of amusement?
I knew such things once when I was a child and relearned them when my children came along.
I donít want to forget them again. In the time I have left, for as long as it may be, I want to see the world and its people the way God surely must see them ó through the eyes of a child.
Lucky for me, Iíll have help.

Contact Sharon Randall at
The Associated Press
06/21/11 12:23