From the Archives – February 2012

Do you ever think about simplicity?  The surest way to make it complicated is to think about it, but that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m not talking about turning off the electricity and getting back to the “simple life.” (Which, by the way, was nothing like ‘simple’ if you think about it.)  I’m talking about the simple, uncomplicated way that a kid views the world around her.  Specifically, my kid. At 5 and in her first year of school, she’s just beginning to realize the complexities that make up the world.  But so often, something she says or does reminds me of the beauty of simplicity.

Everyone who has spent any time around little kids knows that no matter how great the gift they get, it’s the box that gets the most play time. That’s simplicity. Katie has a box that we turned into a playhouse about 4 years ago and she STILL plays with it.  She finger painted all over the outside. She keeps a flashlight inside. These days it’s her dog house, when she pretends to be a dog, which is almost every waking hour of her day.  She has tons of toys. Most of them go months without being touched, until she forgets all about them. But the box never goes away. It can be anything!  All she needs is a big imagination.

That simplicity goes beyond play time too. Kids dream big – but even when their dreams are big, they’re simple.  Looking into the sky the other night, Katie said, “You know what I just wished for on that star, Mom? I wished I could touch the moon.”  Touch the moon. Obviously not a simple task – my mind immediately pictured her in full astronaut mode, bending over to put her hands in moon dirt – but still a simple wish.  She didn’t over-think it.

I dread the day my daughter is forced to realize that this world does not smile on simplicity, that most of us are so messed up in our priorities that we make our lives more complicated than they need to be and that we’ve come to expect things to be a tangled web of trial and error.  But I hope that I can somehow learn to appreciate that simplicity before she loses her ability to revel in it.


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