Both my kids are grown now, but I still enjoy thinking back on the days when they were little. I can still see them covered in sand while digging on the beach, waiting enthusiastically for the next wave to knock them over, lost in whatever games their eager minds had come up with that day. While they definitely had their share of irritable days (mostly when tired or hungry), most of the time they were pure exuberance and unbridled energy – alternating between a wide-lens, darting awe of what was around them and a laser focus on whatever new treasure they had fixated on.
Likewise, they hadn’t yet absorbed conventional answers or expectations. Other than a few basic rules Carrie and I prioritized, they moved through their days with pure instinct. They let us know what they wanted (e.g. hugs, food) and were likely in much better touch with their needs than we were with our own as tired, busy parents.