I recently read a fellow blogger’s post about the joy of watching the world through her daughter’s eyes. She detailed how wonderful it is to watch her daughter mesmerized by something as simple as a bubble floating by or a leaf laying in the yard (I can’t remember whose blog it was so if you see this, fellow blogger, feel free to say, ‘That was my blog that inspired you!’).
I get to appreciate the small things through my daughter’s eyes as well (brag interruption – that is my beautiful little one in the picture – okay, that’s enough – back to humility). She is two, and her joy in serving me make-believe soda or just jumping up and down makes us both giddy. So, while reading the blog, it dawned on me how much my dad’s current view of the world resembles a child’s view.
Now, I understand that Alzheimers is a regressive disease and that he will eventually return to that needy, helpless place that you are in as a baby. Nothing remotely positive about the regressive process had ever crossed my mind! A sixty-six year old man should be enjoying his retirement, travelling, and playing golf. He shouldn’t have to have his children taking care of him or throw a tantrum when we have to stop him from doing something he wants. How can anything be positive about that?
But, wait a second! Being a child is great! And we love babies and their helplessness and sweetness. I never thought about the joy that perhaps I can experience through my father’s eyes. He lives on the water and he jumps out of his seat and gets his binoculars several times a day to see the boats and barges sailing by. And he loves sweets! Together we get to enjoy a dessert or a iced coffee drink with whipped cream and caramel in a way that we never would have done if he did not have a child-like wonder!
Can I really make lemonade out of lemons here? I don’t know, but I know I have to stop and appreciate who he is now and continue to do so in the future. Although he may not be a shoulder to lean on for comfort or advice anymore, isn’t learning to appreciate the small things one of the most important lessons in life? My dad is still teaching me lessons on how to live my life to the fullest.