i spy

thefarm1 i have been playing some i spy with elinor.  she is naturally curious and inquisitive so this game is really a way to get her mama to stop and notice.  to stop and play.  to take time to intentionally point things out and describe.

i can't even count how many times a day that i get that pointed finger and overjoyed or puzzled, "whaaaizzit?"  to which i reply with titles and descriptions.  i watch as her brain spins and chews and absorbs.  and then, off to the next thing.

some days, it can be downright exhausting keeping up with all the questions.  i try to remain patient and connected...but there are times when i just want to go about my business without the toddler barrage, requiring me to pause and respond, pause and respond.  this parenting thing really is an exercise in patience and endurance and grace.  learning each day, how to get better.  how to respond with tender words.  how to slow down and enjoy the little wonders.

and so, we play i spy.  this is my time to be proactive.  to encourage questioning and learning.  to model a curious spirit and awe.  to show elinor that i care about those seemingly insignificant things which are brand new to her, that amaze her.  to show her that i haven't lost all of my childlike spirit.  that i am not some dull and jaded adult.  it takes me out of my comfort zone.  it makes me explore.  it teaches me.  and those are all very good things.

this week, we took our game of i spy on the road and headed out for our regular family date night.  elinor held our hands and walked along.  she pointed and laughed.  she furrowed her brow and examined. she sat quietly and savored.  it was so great.  another great adventure.  turning little things into big moments.  sweet times.  memories.

and here are just a few snapshots.

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oh man.  another evening of warm breeze and sunshine.  trees swaying.  birds chirping.  live music playing.  people wandering and chatting.  such a lovely scene.  we grabbed some grub and sat down to eat.  the beauty of food trucks is that everyone can get a little of this and a little of that.  he can get a crazy amazing frank with a grilled cheese for a bun covered in funyuns and bacon and such...and she can get a beautiful bowl of vegan goodness.  he can get a s'mores grilled brioche sandwich for dessert and she can get a vegan sunbutter oat cookie with chocolate chips.  they can sip on perfect iced americanos from the cafe. and they can share their food with the little miss.  by the way, she always prefers whatever papa is eating.  they are buddies like that.

nights like this sure are sweet.