I began babysitting a little girl when she was one and a half years old. I have worked with children of all ages from six to eighteen, but not so much with the wee ones. This was just a job for me; being able to work with a child was an added bonus. After my first few interactions with this wide-eyed wonder, I would have sworn she was made of pure sunshine. She had smiling eyes and a laugh that could warm even the coldest soul. She never screamed or cried, but was so incredibly full of life.
The first time I took her outside to play, it was a beautiful morning with that long golden light that I like the best. There were still drops of dew shining on the grass, and the day was just beginning to warm up. My barefoot little gal pal and I walked out to the patio and stopped at the edge, just before stepping onto the grass. She looked up at me with a grin and turned back to the vast sea of green. She put only the toes of one foot on the damp grass before squealing with delight and quickly pulling her foot back on the patio only to try it again; this time with the other toes.
It hadn’t occurred to me that maybe this was the very first time her toes had ever kissed the morning dew-covered grass. I’ve always loved walking barefoot in the grass, but I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed it as if it were the first time. I began to think of all the other things she was experiencing for the first time, all the simple pleasures in life I take for granted. My senses heightened and I too was grinning at things like the wind on my face or the mystery of an airplane roaring across the sky. What incredible things to experience for the first time again! My eyes instantly became twenty years younger, and I was seeing the world around me in such a simply intriguing and amazing way.