So we gave our son a waffle maker. Technically, this was our "family" Valentines gift, since it was ridiculously marked down at Williams Sonoma and since our son eats an insane amount of waffles. But we let him open it because, lets face it, kids are just really fun to watch open presents. This time was no exception. Everett had no idea what was in that box all wrapped up pretty with paper and a bow, but he sure liked figuring out how to unwrap it, with Daddy's assistance, of course.
This isn't really about the waffle maker though. There was something especially striking to me about Everett's demeanor as I watched him open this particular gift - an unfeigned wonder. He was genuinely thrilled about the present because he had NO IDEA what could be inside. He didn't know that the paper was from Williams Sonoma and he didn't know that the box stating "Breville" meant it had anything to do with kitchenware (or his favorite food!) He didn't know to be anything but himself, opening that gift. He didn't fake his reaction. He didn't think, "I can return this and get a gift card". He didn't have to like the gift at all. He just had to be himself and open it and for me, it was such a joy to watch it. Did I think I would get a strange reaction from my toddler opening up a waffle maker as a gift? Oh sure. That was like half the fun. I mean, what is a kid supposed to think about that? It's not a ball or a truck or a train. It's a waffle maker. I actually think he "got it" a little more than we anticipated. Once the gift was unwrapped, we explained how we would make his waffle in it and he seemed to understand. You guys, he really loves waffles.
As a side note, he definitely understands the concept now. He waits for it to heat up (completely impatiently) and once it beeps, indicating it is pre-heat ready for batter, he almost loses his mind with glee. "WAFFLE. WAFFLE. WAFFLE MOMMY!!!" He points, practically with his whole body, while I pour in the batter and, you know, let it do its thing.
Letting my son open this gift opened my eyes to the simplicity of a child's wonder. If only I could bottle it up and take it myself. I guess we adults would call that naivety - a grown up experiencing life with a childlikeness. But there is something about that spark, I wish I could naturally summon up a bit more wonder in my own heart for the things around me. I wish that opening up my laptop gave me the butterflies. Or driving my car made me feel like I'm in the Jetsons. But its Monday and I woke up a little groggy and a little overwhelmed and honestly, a little uninspired. Then I found these few photos and felt the laughter in my heart over such a silly experience- having my son open up a waffle maker as a present - but also the wonder. And I wish for all of you today - a bit of childlikeness that makes you fond again for the things that may seem mundane.
May you feel a sense of wonder today while you go out into the world and, you know, adult with the best of them :)