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  • Sue Hawley

Why I'm lucky to have a 5 year old in my life

Of the seven grandchildren we have, only two live in the area. I spend quite a bit of time with my five-year-old granddaughter.

Five is a great age. They see life differently than adults. Their eyes see everything and their little ears hear more than we realize. They see details we don’t even notice anymore: I wear a pair of shoes I haven’t worn in a while, the beauty salon where she has her hair trimmed adds a new product, the leaves on the trees aren’t quite as green as they were a couple of months ago, the post office has a different color carpet runner, or if my desk is messier than usual. The list could go on for quite a bit longer but you get the picture.

We have trained ourselves not to notice the little things in life; simply too many more important things we need to focus on in our busy lives. When you are 5, the little things are important. Their perceptions are basically based on their short life experience. Winter means snow, summer means swimming, fall is Halloween, spring means new flowers. The drudgery adults cope with (shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, preparing for the winter months, overflowing eaves due to spring rains) have little to no impact on their lives. A 5-year-old appreciates the smell of a flower in the garden, the way the tree branches sway in the gentle summer breeze, a bug on a leaf, and if I have the same jeans on today as I did yesterday. Every bit of daily life has value to them.

She starts kindergarten next week and a little part of me is in mourning. No more random days filled with the sound of her sweet voice singing with gusto from the backseat as we make our way through various ‘errands’, playing ‘I Spy’ as we head for her short list of approved eating establishments (pasta, pasta, pasta!), enjoying her descriptions of whatever crosses her mind in any given moment. She’s starting a new chapter in her young life, which is exciting for her. But I’m sure she will still be able to remind me just how fascinating and thrilling life really is---especially the little things we tend to overlook.

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