On a family vacation to a sheep show (do other people actually take family vacations without involving a stock trailer?), I watched my kids hike the trails and play on the sandy beaches of Lake Tahoe. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It was the perfect, sunny day for our first trip to see such a large body of water and our first time ever to sink our toes into the warm sand of a beach. The look of wonder on their little faces was priceless.
I realized, though, standing on the hills above the bright blue water with the snowcapped mountains in the distance, that I have seen that look before.
Those expressions of absolute joy, excitement and almost disbelief that life can be this good appear in less majestic places, too. It was there the first time I showed them how to make s'mores in the microwave and every time they ride our old horse, Lou. It's there when they go check irrigation ditches with their grandad, and when they hear their Aunt Elaine is coming to visit or when they sneak into Nan's kitchen for a cookie before dinner. I've seen it when they catch a frog, when our first squash plant sprouts in the garden and when they bottle-feed a new baby lamb.
Children hold a secret that adults too often forget: Joy can be ever-present. Daily life can be viewed as a grand adventure.
So, here's to living with eyes that seek wonder in the day-to-day no matter our age. Here's to taking time to discover a childlike delight in life regardless of the location. Here's to microwaved s'mores and the shores of Lake Tahoe and taking precious moments to appreciate both, even if the stock trailer is trailing behind you.
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet balances ranching, children and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at alwaysafarmkid.com, on Instagram alwaysafarmkid and Twitter @TiffDowell
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