Earlier this year I asked my dad what he thought of wonder and how he experienced it. “Every time I dive into the pool I experience wonder,” he said. Even though he’d done the act a million times, his body still felt curiosity and excitement during the initial dive.
My dad is a swift swimmer, ambitious chef, and the best father and now Pop Pop in the darn universe. I’m so grateful for him and hope he has a wonderful birthday full of many more new recipes and record breaking swim times.
If you know me between the hours of 7-9 am, you know my favorite show on DVR is Daniel Tiger on PBS. And don’t worry if you feel bad about not knowing this. The only person who does know is fast asleep as I write this (awaiting his third birthday party tomorrow!).
The songs, Daniel, Tigey (Daniel’s stuffed animal), his friends, teachers, community, parents, the diversity of people and families, the trolley. It’s all the secret ingredients to make me watch episodes over and over with my little.
Today’s episode was about wonder. Of course I jumped out of my skin with excitement. What I’m learning about wonder is that it means different things to different people. For Daniel Tiger, wonder is about finding out more. Putting your curiosity hat on. In a playful way.
As I reflect on this at the end of the day, I think the most I wondered today (through Daniel’s theory) was about going to a car dealership and asking to test drive three cars in the rain. I probably won’t buy a new car but I wanted to see how a couple different ones drove. So I followed Daniel Tiger, gave the guy at the dealer my ID, and test drove some SUVs.
I learned a lot about the cars and the salesman. He’s proposing to his girlfriend next weekend in Oregon. She’s a DPT student at OU, near where Nick works. There was nothing wildly profound about the experience except that it was pleasant to get out of my own routine and as Daniel says, “try and find out more.”
What three years can do. I mean, just look at these two photos. I am in awe, still, of the wonder of childbirth. (But also still recovering in some ways, too. Childbirth will be in my book so I don’t want to give it away here!) And I am in . awe at the growth of my son — and the pleasant, cheerful, kind, playful, smart, athletic boy he is. I am SO proud. And full of LOVE.
On this night three years ago I remember being so grateful he was finally here, outside my body, wrapped in blankets, breathing, and already full of so much love. One of the most profound and challenging and important nights of my life. Happy third birthday my love!
This is my view from the couch. Not pictured is too many streamers of varying colors, tons of balloons, a couple more “happy birthday” signs. The cat is on my lap. I can’t wait for my son to wake in the morning and be so excited by the decorations and balloons. We asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he replied, “cupcakes” and “maybe balloons.” To be three! So much joy and wonder in the simple delights of a birthday celebration. Tonight I’m feeling gratitude: for my son, husband, our families, friends, animals, and this life.