Yesterday, I turned 54 and my blog turned 4. Happy Birthday to us! And, welcome to my annual birthday post. 

Here are just a couple of highlights from the past year. I have an adorable new grandson! I launched this new website. I learned (and am still learning) to deal with pain in my life, instead of burying it. And, after a long house-hunt, my husband and I bought and moved into a new house while it was being remodeled. (Watch for future posts about this grand adventure). 

As I grow older, I am learning Change Never Stops! Growth Never Ceases! (As long as you desire it, that is) And, I desire it! This lady never wants to become a stagnant, old-fuddy-duddy. 

Last spring, while I sat in my son’s backyard, watching my granddaughters play, I learned the most valuable lesson of the year. It is a lesson I pray will last the rest of my life. It all began when my almost 2 year old granddaughter placed a small black bead in the palm of my hand. I looked around to see if it was a seed from a tree or a nearby bush. I even wondered if it might be a bb, from a neighbor’s bb gun. I decided to throw it over the fence, but my 4 year old granddaughter yelled, “Grammy, stop!” 

My oldest grandchild then explained, “Grammy, don’t throw it away. That is a rolly-polly!” 

Sure enough, as she spoke, the little ball in my hand unrolled itself and began crawling across my palm. The three of us watched it explore my hand. Then the girls took turns holding the tiny creature. Each time we transferred it, the bug curled back up into a small pellet. Then, gradually, it unfolded to tickle little fingers and hands as it crawled slowly on it’s tiny legs. 

How long had it been since I held, let alone noticed, a rolly-polly? I remember, when I was a little girl, I loved bugs. I loved to watch and catch worms, butterflies and ladybugs. It still makes me smile, as I think of the boys next door who caught grasshoppers. They would wrap them in tinfoil and put them in their pockets and smash them. (I wonder what their poor mom’s thought when they did the laundry?) 

For some reason, my most vivid memories of the wonder of childhood are when I was eight years old. I remember, climbing trees and picking apples. Once, I sat in a pear tree with the neighbor kids, eating the yummy fruit right from it’s branches. Suddenly, one little boy lost his tooth as he bit down into the not-quite-ripe pear. There was a lot of blood.

I also remember roller-skating down hills too fast, jumping from the top of bleachers, singing at the top of my lungs, whomping on all the neighborhood boys in a game of basketball, and laying in a grassy field looking up in the sky and watching the majestic display of stars.  
When did I lose my sense of wonder? I was a curious, risk-taking, fun-loving kid. (Well, a tom-boy to be precise.) I want that sense of wonder back! And, at age 54, with the help of my precious grandchildren, I am learning how to. I will hold rolly-polly’s (and never throw one over the fence). I will explore magical jungles (our new back yard). I will run (as fast as I can) from imaginary tigers, sharks and bears. I will lay on my back in the grass to gaze upon the beauty of clouds and stars and the delicate pattern of lacy, green tree branches.  

Now more than ever, I realize Change Never Stops! (Even now, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of two new grandchildren as well as preparing to celebrate the wedding of our youngest son.) Growth Never Ceases! (At least, as long as I am willing to look, listen and learn.) I am so thankful for the lessons my six, and soon-to-be eight, grandchildren are teaching me. I never, ever, again, want to forget to look through the eyes of a child, to see the wonder that is theirs, and to enjoy the pleasures that have become all to rare.   

I pray, dear friend, that you too will look for, discover and enjoy the wonder of life through the eyes of a child. I would love to hear from you if this post has stirred a memory, or challenged you to look at life through fresh eyes. God bless you dearly!