The last time I wrote on this topic, I was wounded by the power of a relative baby http://vernacularcurate.blogspot.com/2010/01/through-eyes-of-children.html - and so I approach this topic again from another perspective, a happier one I think.
The thing that I discover as I get older is that life and its concerns (good or bad) seem to increase in both speed and physical volume. A decade ago, I worried about how my Marriage was going to go (it is, by chance, our anniversary today), and a bit about how my then store in Tunbridge Wells was faring in a difficult trading period. I worried about money a bit, and was looking forward to our honeymoon in Gran Canaria - that was about it. Today, I worry about the kids, my work (subdivided into EDL, next Sunday's sermon, the wedding in the middle of the EDL visit, the Charity Commission return, the website that needs updating in a little while, and so on), how Jo is getting on court today (not as the defendent, I assure you), the fact that my shoulder always aches at the moment, the lack of sleep thing etc etc. I am happy in my life, but an orchestra of stuff plays its Cranial Symphony - and the tempo is perky just right now.
Jo, Jessica Rebekah and I, with the excellent Katie and her daughter Izzie, went to London to see the Queen on Saturday. That's right, we decided to up-sticks, get on the train with our kiddie paraphernalia and schlap to the Capital for a little sightseeing. What a wonderful day we had. Why? We only managed on open-top bus ride when there ...
No, mate - that is what I did.
What the kids did was get on a train, be excited about that almost to micturition. They saw ten-million sheep, and were so delighted that they told everyone on the train about each one as they passed it. We saw planes - oh my word we saw planes. They saw blossoms, lots and lots of blossoms. There were hawsees and moo-cows and that was even before we left Buckinghamshire. Then we got to Marylebone and got the Tube, and got on the longest set of magic-stairs ever (that is what we call escalators). Rebekah asked a Rastafarian man (after waking him) why he was wearing a big hat. He smiled and graciously answered. Then we got to Piccadilli and caught the big red bus and we drove and drove. We went passed the the Queens' house ('Daddy, does the Queen live in the chimley?', 'Yes baby, and I think she is looking, so wave' - we waved). We saw the Household Cavalry moving towards the Buck House for Changing of the Guard - Jessica nearly ruptured a lung at that sight. We went to Old MacDonalds and they had baby-burgers (shut it, you snobs - it is easier than carrying a picnic) - then we saw the river ('no Daddy, that's the sea', 'Boat, Daddy, look - a boat'). Then we passed some protesters in Parliament Square ('that lady is smelly isn't she Daddy', 'no, baby, because she lives in a tent doesn't mean she is smelly - maybe a bit dusty'). Jessica asked if Westminster Abbey was my church, and my reply was 'not yet'! I told Rebekah that Lambeth Palace was where daddy's boss lived and she now thinks that Jesus lives in Lambeth Palace - d'oh! Then we went home in much the same way as we arrived.
The fact is, I got to see every detail of every building in London - largely to answer to the girls' questions as we went by. I have never had such a close and detailed look at my Capital city, and all because of two two-year-olds who want to see everything. What a gift to us they are, both in themselves, but because of the renewed perspective that they offer. I only wish that toddlers could read and have access to Scripture and Doctrine - we'd have it sorted in minutes.