Through The Eyes of a Child

My four-year-old son has an unquenchable zest for life that has long since eluded me. If I ever had such a thing. He’s so easily excited. Everything is a cause for sudden celebration. Everything.

“Look! It’s the moon!”

“Look at that airplane!”

“Daddy! I’m racing!”

“That car looks like Lightning McQueen!”

“The sun is awake!”

It’s as if he’s won the lottery with every new experience. He has that level of excitement.

Sometimes I wonder how he can get so excited about things he’s seen or done a million times. Other times it melts my heart and makes me smile because it is so utterly adorable. I love how animated he gets.

It occurred to me that my son can feel this way because he still has his innocence. He does not know the world for what it truly is. He does not know that even on the sunniest day, the world is as dark as a black hole. He has not encountered evil. He doesn’t see the headlines or what passes for news these days. He’s never had his heart crushed like ice in a blender. He’s never known the shame of defeat or the guilt of a mistake hurting someone he loves. He’s never had the reaper snatch a loved one from his grasp.

I don’t remember a time in my life when everything was awesome. I can’t relate to my son’s perpetual excitement. All I know is that his ability to consistently find something to get pumped up about makes me happy. He makes me laugh. It also makes me long for a chance to see the world through his eyes.

Imagine it. Had I his innocence I’d see a woman who loves unconditionally instead of one who does as she pleases no matter who it hurts. Had I his innocence I’d see an easy-going man with an unfading smile instead of a petty, jealous one whose lust for revenge hurt me on more than one occasion. Had I his innocence I’d view every sunrise as an opportunity to live instead of another day filled with dreadful banalities and the shackles of responsibility.

I would love to be ignorant of hatred. I would love to see the best in everyone. I would love to see all the colors instead of this monochrome hell. I would love for every little thing to excite me so much that I ran around the living room voicing my excitement loudly and proudly.

But I can’t.

I have seen the worst in too many people. I have seen how horribly we treat each other. I have been both the recipient and committer of evil deeds. I see how inhumanity has saturated every aspect of our society like a rabid cancer. I see hatred. I see intolerance. I see pain. I see suffering. I see darkness conquering light.

While on one hand I wish to view the world through the lens of his innocence, on the other it breaks my heart to know that one day my son will have it stolen from him. A young woman may break his heart. He’ll lose someone he loves. A friend will betray him. He’ll be lied to. He’ll be abused. I may, in my conviction as a father, do something that hurts him. The world may be torn apart by war. He’ll see the world for what it is: an unforgiving, unfair cesspool of sin and debauchery.

I envy my son his innocence, and hope he can cling to some piece of it even after the world reveals itself to him. I hope that life doesn’t leave him bitter and jaded like me. I hope that, even occasionally, he’ll be able to view life through the eyes of a child.

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

19 Comments on Through The Eyes of a Child

  1. It may be his innocence, but it may also be part his disposition. He chooses to see sunrays where you choose to see rain.

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  2. Melanie (DoesItEvenMatterWhoIReallyAm?) // October 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm // Reply

    Aww the ignorant bliss of youth. How I long for it myself…

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  3. Or, he could compromise – see anything that has to do with people with cynicism, and anything that doesn’t with the same wonder as a child. Because a sunset is never going to break his heart, snow-covered forest will always look magical, and no mattet how often you fly, it’s still really cool that an airplane can fly. But people? Pffft.

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  4. Hi Scott. I remember those days of unbridled happy…and then boom. The innocence was destroyed. I hope C doesn’t encounter that one too many times or at all. Cautiously optimistic as cliche, fits the hole in peg.

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  5. Hey BTFFFL, I don’t think having child-like innocence in things has to remain something just for children. And I don’t think it necessarily means being ignorant, or seeing things as excessively rosy when the reality is very different. But anyone who has marvelled at a sunset or at the perfection of their kid’s toes, or sniffed appreciatively at that first scent of wood smoke in autumn…they have an element of wonder.

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  6. He also gets excited for other people. “Look, Uncle Revis, Baby E is watching Mario!” “Baby E has a new toy!” “You’re drinking orange pop, Uncle Revis!”

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  7. I do hope he keeps that sense of wonder.

    For what it’s worth, my son Jacob had that attitude at 4, too. He still pretty much does at 24, too.

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  8. I think this might be part of his disposition. The world might strain a bit out, but honestly he might retain some of it. Without those he see the world of possibilities there would be no hope in the world. I strongly believe in hope!

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