It doesn't matter what we're doing at the time, if Cava hears a plane in the sky overhead, he has to stop whatever he's doing and look up to find the plane. Once he does, he points and tells me to look up at the plane, too. And he will stand there watching the plane and its contrails until the plane is out of sight. Seeing him standing there, in rapt attention, I couldn't help but think of the quote by Albert Einstein that said, "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."
Cava's eyes are constantly open to the world around him and what he's experiencing. So many of the things that we would think of as commonplace create a sense of wonder in him.
One of Cava's favorite things to do is to climb up on the kitchen counter near our sink so he can look out the kitchen window at the backyard. Like a reporter, he lets me know what the squirrel count is in our yard at that moment. And he does it with such enthusiasm. "PAPA! 5 squirrels!" "PAPA! 3 squirrels!" "PAPA! A squirrel!" Cava never gets tired of this or loses any excitement over reporting how many or few squirrels there are out there.
I must admit, one of my favorite things to do is to look out windows, whether it be our kitchen window or the window of the apartment we stayed in back in Kiev. It was one of the first things I did every morning when we were there: open the curtains and gaze out at what was going on in the city street below us. It got so that I began to recognize people who were on their way to or from work (depending on the time of day). I watched as a bustling lines of school children were lead by their teachers to the Golden Gate. Or I simply looked at the snow or the large, dark birds that would perch on the nearby tree. Still, I don't get that excited about squirrels.
Riding in the car, if the weather's warm enough, we'll ride with the windows down. Cava absolutely loves to do this. He's like a dog in that sense. His favorite thing to do is to put his hands out and move them in the wind as if he's dancing or conducting music. How often do I get that way? Not very. Instead, I impatiently tend to focus on how the streets would be better if there weren't other drivers on it. It's only when I hear Cava's voice as he delightedly moves his hands about in the wind or as he gets excited over reading the CVS sign on the way to school that I am drawn out of myself and actually notice what Cava's seeing.
And it's not enough for just him to see, he must tell us to look and see as well. As I've written more than once, the word he uses to tell us to "look" is the same word one would use for miracles. I love how that's how he sees so much of the world around him.
The author Ray Bradbury once wrote, "Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in 10 seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories." (Such as our smart phones, iPods, iPads, and other technology that so many of us spend so much of our time focused on instead of the world and others around us). While there are many things that Cava is learning from us, paying closer attention to the wonders around us is something we need to learn from him.