“Mom, come quick, you have to see this bird. It’s so beautiful,” she said.
I was in the baby’s room getting them ready for something.
“Can I borrow your phone? I want to take a picture,” she asked.
I handed over the phone and finished what I was doing quickly to make it over to the window to see what she saw. “Right there,” she said pointing. “It has a bright, orange belly!” she exclaimed.
I peeked through out window down into our yard. By the white cement path, surrounded by blooming weeds and trodden soil, I saw the bird staring up at the house. A robin, searching in the goodness of the earth for grubs and worms.
My head did this – “It’s just a robin, they are everywhere.” I stopped myself from saying this out loud. I looked at her as she stood on the bench in front of the window, holding my phone just right, desperately trying to zoom in to get a picture that showed its orange belly. It was too far away for it to be in focus, but she took ten shots anyhow.
“It’s so cool,” she exclaimed.
“It is,” I agreed.
In this moment, I witnessed something I hadn’t seen in a while from her. A first interaction. I almost missed it. Almost made it so that her response was not fitting to the circumstance, inappropriate even. I almost smashed her joy in this simple moment of seeing a robin for the very first time. An ordinary, beautiful, life giving, earth sustaining robin who was sitting in our new yard posing for my daughter’s pictures.
In the days to come, we came to witness many robins in our yard. Several every morning and afternoon searching through the grass for their daily meals. Before a robin was simply a robin. Sometimes a reminder of my childhood, or even a reminder of a share from a friend about robins in their backyard. But now the robin is a sign of childhood, amazement, interaction, and first glimpses into the wonders of this earth.
Robins are a reminder to look closely, to see what the world is offering us, and to seek joy in the ordinary yet extraordinary life around us. And certainly to take joy in the joy of these little humans who make the effort and take the time to see and experience something new nearly every single moment.