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Taking a Moment to Stop and Play in the Puddles

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Always important to take a break and play in the puddles.

As parents and educators, we often grow frustrated by children’s lack of focus and how easily they become distracted. Sometimes, though, they can teach us to focus less on the end point and notice the wonders of the journey along the way.

The other day my wife and I went for a run so we packed the kids up in the stroller and drove to one of our beautiful nearby parks. Being parents of twins, sleep and mealtime routines keep our girls happier and my wife and I more sane. We promised the girls after our run, they would have some bike riding time so they could have fun and burn off some energy. Because of some “potty struggles” with one of my daughters, their bike ride time decreased so when they both finally got on their bikes, I was strongly encouraging them to ride around. No less than five minutes into bike ride time, they both hopped off their bikes and ran to investigate some small puddles (photo above). My first response was, “C’mon girls, we only have a few minutes… Keep biking”. Of course, being 2 year-olds, they chose not to listen and began to jump and play in the puddles… Enjoying the moment. At that point, following some toddler giggles that can make anyone smile, they again taught me something – stop, and enjoy the moments; be wide-awake to all that nature and childhood can share. For me, it was about burning energy… To my girls, it was about the first puddle they had seen in over a month… It was about the joy in jumping In water… It was about the sensation of picking up mud in your hands and letting it slide through your fingers.. It was about play and wonder.

We often get caught up in getting to the next event or achieving the next goal in our lives and filling our statements with phrases like “hurry up” or “come on, let’s go”. We sometimes grow agitated when our students and children continually get distracted by sights and sounds (often new to them) outside of what we are trying to accomplish. Sometimes, however, we need to realize that the journey is not solely about us and we need take our kids’ lead by taking moments to enjoy the wonders and curiosities in our journeys… and stop and play in the puddles.

For me it was a good reminder that although routines are important to our family, they are nothing compared to the small moments we will always remember. Sometimes it takes a couple of 2 year-olds to teach me to embrace the journey… Wherever that leads.

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Chris Wejr

Proud father of twin girls and a son. Currently working as the Principal of James Hill Elementary School (K-5) in Langley, BC, Canada. Passionate about strengths-based education and leadership, reconciliation, assessment, and human motivation.

9 Comments

  1. I was going to write on this same topic. We recently got my daughter a new puzzle. She worked on it intently for 10 minutes before jumping up with both arms in the air and excitedly announcing, “I did it.” Being the proud Dad that I am I went searching for my camera to capture the moment. Before I got it ready she then announced, “I want to do it again.” I tried to convince her to pose for a photo with her completed accomplishment. All she could think about was how much joy she had learning how the pieces of her new Dora puzzle fit. She wanted that feeling of joy so quickly again, that before I could use more words to try to convince her to pose she had torn the puzzle up and began immediately piecing the puzzle back togehter.

    The joy is in journey and not necessarily what we perceive is the next step. It is in the small moments.

    Thank you for writing this post. It resonated with me a lot.

    Hugh

    • Thanks for commenting, buddy. I am blown away but what my kids are teaching me. Just this morning, I was rushing the girls to get in the car to go to dance and one of them was back by the door… I hollered to hurry up and she said, “no, dad – look, a new flower – it smells so pretty”… and she was right. IN my rush I had missed it and for the 10s it took me to stop and smell a new flower that had bloomed.. was so worth it for that moment.

  2. So very true… am so glad you realized this early in the girls’ lives so you have time to enjoy those moments with them. Keep grabbing those moments! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Parenthood sure changes the way you see the world… in a beautiful way.

  3. Hi Chris,

    Great post and great reminder. My three children, as they grow, are unfortunately becoming too much the adults around them…so caught up in the tyranny of the urgent to notice the simplicity and beauty around us. As a parent, it required increasing effort as our kids age to model the wonder and awe we experience ourselves, like the rainbow, the hummingbird, the rumble of thunder.

    Kids remind us to stop and play, but sometimes, we are the ones who need to give the reminders ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for this great post, Chris!

    • “so caught up in the tyranny of the urgent to notice the simplicity and beauty around us.”
      Powerful statement… and one that we all need to be aware of and reflect upon.

      Sounds like the start of a great blog post for you… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for adding this perspective, Antonio. Much appreciated!

  4. we are not completing anything unless we complete the wandering of curiosity. Something that is missing in our curriculum…but needs to be foremost in our parenting.

    I think that is the most political statement I have ever made!!
    Malcolm

    • I like what the other malcolm said…i was going to throw in my two bits about the evils of massive curricula…play is how we learn best!

  5. unless i made that comment myself and have experienced a bit of amnesia. getting old!

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