#reverb10 – Day 4: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

December 4 Prompt

Author: Jeff Davis
The Journey from the Center to the Page

Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I’m behind on this already! Blame a weekend visit from my folks and my husband’s broken laptop. No matter though, onwards and upwards!

I read this quote from Robin Quivers (Howard Stern’s longtime cohost) in a magazine years ago, and it sticks with me:

It’s essential that a part of you not grow up. Childhood wonder gives us our spark and beauty.

Robin Quivers

Ever since I saw this quote (and probably before), I’ve always tried to live with a sense of wonder. I like to pay attention to details. The weirdest things come up when you pay attention to the details. You find out more about someone, or something.

I believe God is in the details. Or, if you don’t believe in God, Mother Nature, evolution or beauty. I can’t look at a perfect flower without thinking “Wow, someone was thinking here. Look at that!”


Here is a picture I took a few years ago of a passion flower to prove my point. Isn’t that a beautiful flower, even though it is not in pristine condition? (The less-than-pristine condition can be attributed to the fact that it comes from my garden.)

Now that I am a parent, my sense of wonder is heightened by the antics of my daughter. I laugh with her every day. I laugh at her every day. Not in a mean way, but because she is really funny, whether accidentally, or on purpose. (As she gets older, the on-purpose laughs are coming more and more.)

Flora’s imagination is growing in leaps and bounds every day. Just tonight, I watched the following:

Tea PartyThis kid pulled out all the pots to have a tea party. She had me lay out her blanket just right for her party. Then once the pots and pans were out, she moved them around to make her tea party successful. Her dolly – and tea party guest – was in and out of the pots and pans as well. When I told Flora dinner was ready, she gently tucked her dolly into one of the pans with a blank, and then decided the other pan was now a drum.

Watching my daughter’s imagination grow keeps my sense of wonder sharp. I hope she – and I – can keep our sense of wonder sharp together.

Motherhood, so far

At the end of April, I was planning to write several posts about my experiences mothering my daughter over these last eight months. They were going to lead up to some flowery thoughts on Mother’s Day. They were going to be a lovely reminder of what I was doing and how I felt about things going on in Flora’s, Sean’s and my life as a new family.

However, mothering a young baby does not always lend itself to writing thoughtful, poignant, loving tributes to the various facets of motherhood in a timely fashion. There are just so many other things to do, like raise the kid. I’ve been spending my time mothering instead of writing about mothering. This is probably not a bad thing. Even now, as I sit here trying to write something, I feel like I’m going all over the place. There is so much I want to say, and it’s hard to rein in all these big thoughts to tell the story the way I want to.

Growing up, and well into my twenties, I never expected to have kids. If someone had told me at fifteen, or twenty, or even twenty-five, that I would spend my thirtieth birthday sitting on my deck with close friends, nearly 39 weeks pregnant, waiting to find out if I was going to be induced later that week, I would have laughed at them. It’s just not something I ever expected I would do. Yet here we are. (There are several cliches that describe this perfectly, but I’ll leave you to use the one that you prefer.)

Some people like to say that “if I’d known I would love having a child so much, I would have had one sooner”. I don’t feel that way. If I had a baby earlier in my life, I would never have had Flora. I would have had another baby, and while I’m sure he or she would be a wonderful person, he or she wouldn’t be Flora. She has taught me so much already, and I’m not sure that I would have been ready to learn from another baby from another, younger time. I can only hope that I can teach Flora all the things she needs to know to live safely and happily as a citizen of the world. I know we will continue to teach each other for the rest of our lives.

The weekend I first told my parents that Sean and I were expecting, I told my mother that I still wanted to be the same person I was before I had the baby. I still wanted to like dirty jokes, loud music, silly movies, a couple glasses of wine now and again and all the other stuff I enjoyed before the Baby would turn my life upside down. I was terrified that I would lose myself and only be regarded as a Mommy. My mom quickly set me straight and told me that I would still be the same person. She talked me down from more than a few worrisome points, and I am grateful to her for that. The best mothering advice she gave me is that “common sense goes a long way”. And it does.

I knew I would love my baby unconditionally, but I didn’t know how physical that bond would be. At the beginning, Flora would cry and I would leak milk, soaking whatever I was wearing. Watching her nurse filled me with awe and pride that  I could provide my child the sustenance she needed to grow and thrive. It still does, even though I’m not her sole source of food anymore. The amount of time I’ve spent holding her, comforting her, breathing her baby smell in. I never expected to be smelling her so much, whether to enjoy a freshly-bathed baby ready for bed, or to sniff for a dirty bum.

It really is a visceral connection. I know our connection will change as we get older. I just hope that I can remember all these awe-inspiring, life-changing, huge, loving feelings for the rest of my days. And that I can find the right words to describe them to her.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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