(pl.n) Things which inspire wonder; marvels; miracles
I found a new word and I love it!
I thought “wonder” was the word I wanted. And it is a great word! Wonder: (noun) a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar; a person or thing regarded as very good, remarkable, or effective; (verb) desire to know something, feel curious; feel doubt.
Wonder is wonderful, but the things that inspire wonder are even better.
Wonder, I think, can seem quite simple – especially as we often use it to express curiosity. I admit, that is what began this train of thought. I was wondering things about my kids… wondering how quickly my fat three month old would learn to do things like roll over and crawl and walk, to be specific.
The things I wonder for my living daughter and son are quite different to the things I wonder about my little stillborn Theodore. One type of wonder, I realised, is stagnant and repetitive, wondering similar things over and over. The other is living and dynamic, and brings a great deal of joy, especially as I see things I have wondered become answered.
I wonder what Theodore would have looked like.
I wonder when Alexander will learn to walk.
I wonder if he would have been fun and silly or a more serious personality.
I wonder if he will skip crawling, like Annabelle did.
I wonder how big he is in heaven. Does he grow or stay the same?
I wonder how tall Alexander is going to grow. Will he pass six foot?
I wonder what he’d be like now, at four years old.
I wonder how Alexander is going to change his section of the world.
I wonder if I will ever truly grasp how Theodore changed my world.
That is one sort of wonder, one driven by unknowns and curiosity and questions. Then there is the other sort, the type of wonder that comes when you admire someone, when you feel amazed… the sort of wonder that steals your breath for a moment.
Alexander loves it when I blow gently on his forehead. His face lights up in a delighted smile and his whole body relaxes as he melts into my hands. It is so, so gorgeous. And this is kind of what wonder does. It makes you light up and melt all at once.
I feel wonder when I look at my two children because they amaze me! To compare my three month old to my two year old, it genuinely blows me away that children grow and change so much in such a short time. It honestly feels miraculous. How does a cute, fat, gummy ball of a baby turn into someone who can put on their own shoes, jump off the couch, do the actions to any Wiggles song, and recognise the distinctive sound of any chocolate packet (and not be fooled when you say things like, “that was the sultana packet”)? Like, HOW?! It is totally incredible!
I feel wonder when my daughter does something kind and generous without me asking or even expecting it. I admire her giving spirit. A few weeks ago in church, the children were given a chocolate during a “kid’s talk”. After being sent back to their seats, chocolate in hand, Annabelle made her way back up to the front of church to try to get another chocolate. She came back empty handed and I bobbed down to talk to her, expecting her to be disappointed that she could only have one. When she said, “no choco for mum” my heart totally melted. To realise that she went to try to get ME a chocolate was so incredibly endearing and humbling. I was expecting that she was trying to get more for herself, but she had been thinking of me. And that causes two types of wonder – admiration at her generous, thoughtful spirit, and wondering how I ended up with such a sweet girl!
Theodore, I remember the awe and amazement over his tiny, perfect body. The perfection was astounding. I remember the feelings surrounding his death and birth, the amazing support we had and the many ways we were cared for in a wonderful manner. There are so many memories of wonder and love surrounding that time.
But in all these objects of my wonder, there is a common theme. They are all my children. My beautiful, loved children. It sounds a bit cliche, but there is always truth behind any cliche. I think most parents find themselves caught up in moments of wonder and awe that are directly related to their children.
No, my children are not “miracles” in the supernatural, “we don’t understand how this could even happen naturally” sense. But they are miracles in so many way – children are miracles. And these objects of my wonder, these people causing so much joy and wonder in my life, well… I wonder how much less wonderful and marvellous and miraculous my life would be without them.