Through A Child’s Eyes

My niece, Zoie, and I pictured together.

My niece, Zoie, and I pictured together.

For most of us, there are times when things can get so hectic and busy in our days that we forget to stop and appreciate the simplicity of what comes our way. We fall into a routine and don’t even realize we’re allowing life to pass us by.

Sometimes all it takes to see this is a chance to view the world through a child’s eyes. Think about it. They are the most innocent creatures to walk the earth and have yet to be jaded by the everyday struggles we face as adults. Those struggles sometimes make us forget what it’s like to truly live and enjoy the simple pleasures of our existence.

My niece, Zoie, is a perfect example of that pure innocence that is not yet spoiled by mundane affairs. I may be biased, but I see her as one of the most selfless, wholesome children I have ever known. For as long as she could speak, she has always asked those close to her how their day has been and made sure to put a smile on their face simply by giving them a grin.

She is considerate and grateful for all the blessings that have come her way in the mere 8 years of her existence. I cannot count the number of times that little girl has reminded me to stop and appreciate what is right in front of me, while I was busy putting life on autopilot.

I remember last year for my sister’s wedding, we were all hot and tired as we stood outside for pictures in the park. I just wanted to get out of my heels and be done, and then I look over at my niece standing there with red cheeks from exhaustion in her flower girl dress, blowing bubbles laughing and smiling without a care in the world. She couldn’t have been happier in that moment. This beautiful little person reminded me how important it was to shut out the negative and simply blow your cares away.

Centi Column 12.6 Plane

Zoie has been taking dance lessons most of her life and has always had such an energetic, captivating demeanor. Visits to my brother’s house usually end with a dance class in the kitchen given by little Miss Zoie, while I try my best not to trip over my own feet as the music echoes in the background. Our dance classes have become quite the tradition in which we both look forward to having. If I’m experiencing a bad day and stop over to see her, rest assured my mood will turn around with a little bit of Kidz Bop on the radio and my niece’s sweet smile as she teaches me how to pirouette into the night.

My sister-in-law and I recently took a trip to New York City with my niece to celebrate her birthday. We booked tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I couldn’t think of a better way for Zoie to spend her first time in the big city where she could be fully emerged in the culture and excitement of the experience. As soon as our flight began, my niece couldn’t get over how cool it was that we were so high above the clouds and this incredible world we lived in was still carrying on miles below. The look of awe on her face as we flew through the sky made me realize this trip was not only for her, but for myself as well. This child that is sitting before me is such a precious little soul and doesn’t even realize what an impact she has on everyone she encounters.

To see my niece’s reaction at the Christmas performance on stage was exactly as I had hoped for. Every new performance was followed by “Look over there! Oh, wow,” and a tap on our shoulders to make sure we were seeing the exact amazement that was unfolding before her in that moment. After the show, we attended a lesson with 40 other dance enthusiasts and the actual Rockettes that had just graced the stage. As my niece learned the steps with a smile on her face, it helped me in fighting the judgment and stares I felt during the dance of the toy soldier, trying my best to keep up with a room full of pre-teen divas who knew they were going to have to carry this old lady in the routine.

The trip to New York was incredible and turned out to be more of a lesson than I was expecting. Zoie survived the holiday crowd in the city and took it on like a trooper. Even when she was getting stepped on and shoved by the herd of people, she still ended her day with a smile and a giggle. As I held her hand through the subway, I noticed she put a smile on many of the faces she passed by. It’s incredible how one little act of kindness can be so contagious.

That innocence and happiness is something we should all strive to have more of in our day-to-day lives and I look forward to the next moment I am reminded of such beauty.

Zoie

Zoie

“If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything.”

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