I think my favorite thing about this parenting gig is getting to experience the world through the eyes of a child. This manifests in a million different ways on any given day, but recently I’ve been enjoying it through my favorite 5-and-a-half-year-old’s guesses.
It was last spring when I first started noticing him use the phrase, “My guess is…” followed by some quirky interpretation of the observations he’d made. Like, walking down the street to school, he commented, “Look at all that dirt.” Someone had a large section of their front yard torn up revealing a few pipes underground. “My guess is they’re building a swimming pool!” I didn’t have the heart to burst his bubble with the reality they probably unfortunately needed to replace some pipes. What to me (and probably them!) looked like an annoyance, to him looked like a hopeful recreational joy!
Now I’ve started asking him whenever he has a question about something, “What’s your guess?” Today as we drove behind a construction truck he asked about the lighted arrow mounted on the back. I asked what his guess was, what he thought it was for. It gave him the chance to venture an educated guess, because by this time in his life, he’s experienced a fair amount, knows so much! He actually had a great explanation for the double sided arrow, how it could point cars in the right direction when there’s construction on the road.
I’m no expert, but I feel like this is developing an important skill. Forming an educated guess takes pulling together information and life experiences and, going one step further, verbalizing them.
This reminds me of working alongside my husband as his assistant when he did a stint as a field engineer. The job took us to several different countries over a few months so we got to experience lots of new things in these new-to-us cultures. At one point, I thought I might go crazy as, on yet another long drive through the endless farm country of Brazil, he said for the 1000th time, “I wonder…” I wonder why they do this. I wonder what this is all about. I wonder how they thought of that. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.
I didn’t wonder.
I just don’t think that way. My mind is not in a constant state of discerning my surroundings, I guess. All I can say is, thank goodness my husband lives in the age of Google because there’s a pretty easy way to satisfy his wonderings.
And now that I’m seeing this up close in our son, I find I’m better able to appreciate it. Maybe because the child version is just so cute. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s finally getting through to me, opening up my sense of wonder.