Actually, it was more than one child. I spent a fair portion of the day yesterday in my son’s backyard. They hosted an Easter brunch and there were three children present under the age of five.
I watched these children with interest and joy, not realizing until this morning how clearly they illustrate the power of living in the present moment. That is all they have, especially the ones under two or three. Language is developing but not really a part of their world yet. All any of them cared about was what was right in front of them or in their hand or on the ground. They were taking in information and looking for ways to understand and organize each momentary experience. Everything is new and very important.
Their ability to concentrate is quite profound, especially when they see a ladybug or someone blows bubbles into the air. That is all that exists for them in that moment. It is fun to watch one-year-olds learn from each other. There is no judgement about who they are learning from; they just want to be able to do what that other child is doing.
If we pay attention, they will teach us how to be present and mindful. They will show us how to be open to receive new information and try on new ways to see things and new behaviors. They will remind us to laugh from our bellies and run across the room with widespread arms to embrace a person we love.