Want to know what we do when we get tired, burned out or are plagued by writer's block or a brain freeze?
A vacation? A cruise? A trip to the spa?
Nope. We go to visit grandkids.
There is a revitalizing, renewing, recharging quality in being around small children.
Moms who stay home every day and wrestle kids and their schedules and try to balance it all with their friends and their needs may say that children are anything but renewing — they are exhausting.
True, they do tire us out. But they also renew us.
Parents live several years longer than nonparents, partly because of the mental and emotional energy that children give us.
I (Richard) am writing this column on the plane as I return from a couple of days with our daughter Shawni, her husband, Dave, and their five kids in Phoenix. I'm tired from lots of activity and rough and tumble with them and their schedules, but I am revived and refreshed by the vibrancy and energy of these wonderfully lit-up children's minds.
They never stop asking questions. They never stop looking at the world with wonder. They never run out of energy, or in the case of most of them, never get filled up and always have an appetite, particularly for something sweet.
We often think that it is their enthusiasm and sense of wonder, along with their innocence and honesty, that Christ had in mind when he admonished us all to try to be like children.
Here are three of our favorite quotes on the matter of children and wonder. Each implies a bit of a warning for adults and the need for complete admiration of the little ones who live among us.
1. "As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the gifts we beheld. Our thirsty souls could not get enough of the wonders of creation. Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, and stepped away from the banquet of life. The gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive. Instead, we have let wonder go to sleep." — Edward Hays
2. "Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some." — Robert Fulghum ("All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten")
3. "Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us." — Eugene Ionesco
May our children, as they recharge us, also be an example and a motivation to keep our own sense of wonder alive and well.
The Eyres' three latest books are "The Entitlement Trap," "5 Spiritual Solutions" and "The Three Deceivers." Richard and Linda are New York Times No. 1 best-selling authors who lecture throughout the world on family-related topics. Read Linda Eyre's blog at www.deseretnews.com/blog/81/A-World-of-Good.html and visit the Eyres anytime at www.TheEyres.com or www.valuesparenting.com. Listen to their weekly radio show on Mondays at 4:30 at www.byuradio.org.