It’s so wonderfully fun having a grandchild. One of the great things about it is that I get to experience all over again, in a way I haven’t since my kids were small, how amazingly good little kids are at learning.
Think of all the things that any child learns between the ages of 0 and 3: how to walk, talk, eat, play games, sing, run, climb; the basics of social interaction; how to express an enormous range of emotions; the core of logical thinking (cause and effect, for instance). And on and on.
And it seems to me that little kids are such astonishingly adept learners because of two things 1) they’re insatiably curious, and 2) they don’t attach any negative emotions to not knowing something – no worry, embarrassment or fear. Here’s a great little example of me showing Hannah how to do something new – and her having no hesitation or resistance:
She looks at the dirt on her hands, not knowing what to do. I show her a way to get it off. She watches, tries it; it works. Success! New thing learned!
When I’m at my best, I’m almost this curious and this unafraid. Learning is then fast, fun, and nearly non-stop.
I’m realizing that I aspire to bring the curiosity and fearlessness of a toddler to my grown-up life: what a great combination.