Saturday, June 12, 2010

curiosity fed the cat

We are pet-sitting for some friends. Among their pets is a young, male cat. We'll call him Comet. Yesterday, when we came in to feed the pets, I picked up Comet and cradled him in my arms as if he were a newborn baby. He stretched his neck and brought his nose close to mine. Not satisfied with this, he reached up his paws and kind of held my face in his paws so he could really explore this new face near his.

Today, Pic and I watched as Comet chased a ball, attacked a feathered toy and dug around in a box. He wanted to know whence every sound came. He wanted to know what was hanging on the wall (and he almost knocked a couple of family portraits off the wall, which caused me a moment of panic). He wanted to follow us around and sniff us. As we were leaving, I told Pic that Comet was really curious, just like her.

Then, I started thinking of those phrases like "child-like curiosity" and "child-like wonder." I thought how sad it was for those kinds of phrases to be child-centered. It's as if we're expected to follow the "don't ask, just accept" rule as we age. I feel sad that the wonder seems to fade as we learn and "know" more.

I've always asked a lot of questions. Plenty of people have pointed this out to me. However, I also simply pass over so much. I know it's kind of rampantly commonplace, but having a young child in my life has definitely helped me to slow down and notice more again and to ask more questions again. We might not always come up with answers to all of our questions, but it's been fantastic going through life with my eyes wide open.

Pic definitely asks a lot of questions also. She wants to know why things, people and animals are named what they are. She wants to know what every word means. She wants to know what the ants do when they return to the holes in the sidewalks. She wants to know about the oil spill and how the wildlife is getting on in this ongoing disaster.

Not only does she want answers, she wants to stop and notice every flower and insect and dog on our walks...and she wants me to notice them, too.

Her curiosity and wonder are great (both vast and wonderful) and I hope she retains both always. And, I hope to be right there, asking questions also.


Tara W. said...

This whole post made me smile. :)

I find it sad too that so few adults enjoy learning. But I do think curiousity can be infectous. The biggest obstacle is the illusion of no time. We all find ourselves so busy we make excuses for things we choose not to do.