My husband and I were lucky enough to take our five-year-old on an All-About-Him trip last week to Scottsdale, Arizona. Our friend’s house backs up to an amazing preserve of 50+ miles of trails. Every day we went on nature hikes. We spotted rattlesnake bones (dried wood), anaconda snake holes (groundhog holes), volcanic rocks (black rocks), and fossils (trash). We even found a kangaroo cactus.
That cactus sealed the deal on a five-year-old’s dream of growing up and becoming a “guy who takes kids on nature walks every day.”
We crossed rivers and we climbed mountains. We took shelter in the shade of a forest after trekking through the hot desert sand. We slinked past bear caves and hid from rhinoceroses. We followed footprints and flightpaths.
All in a about a 1/2 mile radius from our front porch. All within a stone’s throw of a neighborhood of homes. And all in my flip flops.
The highlight was this incredible buried treasure:
With this accompanying discourse:
Me: Look at that tire!
Me: Right there! Under that tree!
Me: Right there. A tire! Don’t you see the tire?
Me: Are you kidding, you don’t see the tire? You are literally standing right on top of it.
Me (going over and kicking it): The tire! Right here.
We continued on our way and hunt for wildlife and pots of gold. Approximately two minutes later, we headed back to camp (our house) and I said, hey wasn’t that tire pretty awesome?
To which he replied, I guess, but where was the tiger?
My first thought was one of relief that I did not have to go home and call the eye doctor. But then it settled in and I stopped and I smiled.
He was actually searching for a tiger. And, more importantly, he actually believed that a tiger could actually be there, sitting on our dirt path under the shade of our forest.
I smiled and I thanked him. For reminding me that anything really can be possible. Because in his eyes, anything is. He’s not jaded by expectation or limitation. He’s not hampered by the impossible. Or the routine. Or the ordinary. Or the expected.
I saw an old tire. He saw something more.
What a wonderful way to view the world. It’s better than rose-colored glasses. It’s no-colored glasses.
How many truly extraordinary things have we missed along the way? How many times have we bypassed something great simply because we believed it was beyond belief? How many times have we missed out because we forgot that anything is possible?
Because it really is.
Tiny miracles happen every day. So do big ones. We just have to slow down, keep our eyes open, and always, always be curious.
And keep a look out for tigers.