Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Cultivate Wonder

Hold hands and wander the aisles of Rite-Aid, letting her smell all the deodorants until she chooses the Secret Powder Fresh that smells “just like you, Mommy!”

Take her to the grocery store for the sole purpose of buying ice cream. Let her choose the flavor. Bring it home and eat it immediately, out of the container, at 2:00 on a Monday afternoon.

Plant a garden on the side of your house. Teach her how to pull weeds out gently, how to get the roots, how to march around in the dirt without trampling the peas.

Let her drag a chair over by the stove. Let her stir the risotto. Let her stir the caramel. Let her stir the lemonade.

Watch her choose her own clothes. Praise her choice of rainbow heart-printed shorts with a polka-dotted shirt with bright orange socks. Let her wear her Tinkerbell dress to Costco.

Go into her room in the morning, when it smells vaguely like hamster bedding, and nestle down into her covers with her. Tickle her. Kiss her round cheeks. Ask her what she wants for breakfast.

Get her a balloon for no reason.

Give her the camera and let her wander the house, shooting her world from her perspective.

Put a blanket out on the lawn and dump out the art bin. Tell her to draw anything she sees. Read her books about Picasso and Monet. Hang her creations on the wall, the refrigerator, the nightstand in your bedroom.

Watch things together: parades, fireworks, fireflies, fountains, outdoor concerts, Olympics, soccer tournaments, waves, races, musicals, airplanes leaving their white trail in the sky. Let your eyes get big and wide.