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Blog: And if we kept a childish curiosity? (07/05/22)

It’s funny what knowledge clicks with us and what doesn’t.

While some tunes feel like second nature, others can still feel right out of reach.

For my second nephew Caydyn, it was his grandmother’s “you had to push another foot” that he couldn’t really grasp a few years ago. He could easily navigate the home screen of his smartphone as a toddler, but couldn’t understand why she kept saying that and laughing at his confusion. After all, so around 5 o’clock, he proved to her with a big smile by leaning back in his chair and waving his only two feet near his face, that there was clearly not a third.

For my youngest nephew Liam, 3 years old, it’s hide and seek. The picture I got a few weeks ago showed him quietly behind the living room curtain waiting for his dad to find him. The curtain covered him from head to shoulders, so you just saw a dinosaur shirt and a pair of jeans-covered legs sticking out from behind.

He was completely covered by his hiding place in the most recent photo – with a transparent plastic bag sitting in the middle of the living room.

He can write his name and count numbers all day, but the visible and the invisible are nuances we’ll probably still laugh about when he’s grown up.

Just like when my brother, now 36, who was around that age, managed to put a nearly empty butter bowl on his head on school picture day. My mom always teases him about how he flattened all those beautiful curls right before his picture.

All of this makes me wonder why learning becomes such a chore as we get older and can make some of us a little grumpy.

What if there was a way to retain that enthusiasm for the new and an ability to laugh at our occasional hesitations and failures? What if, when those around us slip or struggle, we grant them the same grace?

It’s funny how many important things you can still learn watching kids explore the world for the first time, no matter what age you are.

Donna Farley is the editor of the Daily American Republic. She can be contacted at dfarley.dar@gmail.com. And for photos of the early little hide-and-seek, visit our website at www.darnews.com/blogs/farley.