During a break at work I sat outside of the building.  A man walked past me followed by a little girl pushing a baby in a stroller and behind her a skinny little boy with glasses, maybe about five years old.  The boy smiled at me as he walked past and of course I returned the smile.  With a wave he then marched on clearly enjoying whatever adventure he was taking part in.  He was absolutely adorable, his endearing innocence made me think of my own kids and then children in general.  A child’s smile is truly a gift.  That evening I began to think about qualities children possess and how as adults we should retain some of these “child-like” qualities.

The first quality is curiosity.  My two year old explores his environment with such a thorough and discerning eye.  He examines every knot in the floorboards as we move down the stairs, he pumps the bicycle pump by the front door on our way out then looks carefully for the results of his actions, and when we are finally outside he collects acorns and pebbles until he has to start handing some to me to carry. Day after day he finds wonder in his world and is eager to explore and learn more.  

The second quality is good humor.  Despite my best attempts to discourage the belly laugh-inducing charades of two little boys as they brush their teeth at night, part of me wonders if there is any way that I could experience uncontrollable laughter during my oral care routine.  Or, like my two year old, find hilarity in the funny faces and sounds someone makes.  What if, like my five year old, I could sometimes fall into unstoppable fits of laughter over a game of keep away?

The third quality is genuineness. Children have not yet encountered situations where they feel they need to pretend to be someone they are not, or hide their true selves.  They are honest with their opinions, likes and dislikes.  Kids are who they are without apology (and rightly so).

Each day I learn from my own children about who they are as people, about the nature of children, and even about myself.  As a busy adult with a grown-up’s agenda, concerns and ambition, I often have to remind myself to embrace the qualities my children so easily display.  Stay genuine, allow for curiosity and keep a good sense of humor.


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    Jennifer Loebel