I learn so much from my kids. My three-year-old shows such enthusiasm for things that seem minor and mundane to us grown-ups.
Here’s a conversation I’m sure you are all familiar with, but with my son’s special twist:
“Mommy, what’s for dinner?”
“Sausage, peppers and onions,” I say.
“Sausage?” he squeaks, with eyebrows raised all the way up to his curly hair. “I love sausage!”
“I know,” I say. “With tater tots.”
He gasps. His whole body seems to contract. His smile widens to cover even more of his elfin face. “Ooh. Tater tots.”
My husband and I have been known to have such reactions to certain foods, too. We tried a new fish dish the other night that just about had us moaning. Grilled fish, a rosemary and caper vinaigrette, cannellini beans with spinach from the garden. Oops, I digress.
But the little one gets this way about all kinds of things (depending on the day, the time, his level of crankiness and the cycles of the moon) – the playground (“Kelly Park? I love Kelly Park!”), the library, picking up his older brother at camp, phone calls from grandparents (“Nana? I love Nana!”).
People always talk about bottling the energy of children. I want to tap into that enthusiasm and excitement for things that no longer seem new and exciting. Imagine feeling happy and eager to go to work each day. To see the sun shining down on the flowers you planted three years ago. To drive your child to yet another soccer game, piano lesson or other extra-curricular activity.
I get this way when I start a new book. I just have to figure out how to sustain that feeling through the entire process of drafting, critiquing, revising, re-writing, querying and submitting. Maybe my enthusiasm will be catching. Maybe I can get a book deal in the near future.
And maybe I can brighten someone else’s day.