Typically, when I walk on the trail, I keep my gaze at eye level or above. I notice the trees and birds and clouds in the sky. I pay attention to what’s coming up ahead of me. The other day, though, I happened to look down and notice these gorgeous little flowers with their colors popping brightly in the sun. It was as if they were begging to be noticed among the fallen brown leaves and weeds. They brightened my day, and I was so glad I looked down at just the right time. They made me stop and smile. I squatted down and got close in order to take in all the little details. I really appreciated that moment.
It was in that moment that I thought of children and how we hover over them, always talking and walking fast, always looking at what lies ahead. I wondered how much we miss by not looking down.
The best connections with children come when we stop, get down to their level, smile, and simply notice them- notice their details, their innocence, their kindness. It takes only a moment, really, but when we make it a daily practice it builds a bond and appreciation that lasts a lifetime.