By Dawn Onley
Nothing beats the joy of sweet anticipation.
My 4-year-old has already peeped this as evidenced when he asks me to buy him a specific toy or to fix him a specific meal or to read him a specific book or allow him to watch his favorite movie or to take him to a specific place. When I tell him the things he has to do as a condition for me to think about acquiescing to his whims, he repeats the conditions, claps and then sets out to try and keep up his end of the deal. Even if the reward promised won’t come until his birthday or Christmas (for example the huge, hulking Maui figure he spotted at the toy store and now begs me for daily) he is anticipating his reward and knows that he has to be good first and foremost if there is any chance in him getting it.
The thrill of anticipation never leaves him – it’s in the brightness of his eyes, his smile and in his rehashing of our deal over and over and over again, usually at bedtime.
I can’t fault the kid. I’m thrilled by anticipation too. I’m a dreamer and I get dizzy with excitement when I plan my next vacation, for example. I usually start by narrowing it down to several possibilities, after which I conduct research to see which spot works best at any given moment. This could include time of year, weather, costs, hotel and food options (don’t judge), and a list of all the things to do.
It’s so darn exciting! There are so many places to go, things to do, people to meet and sights to see that if we spend the time engaging the things that bring us the most joy, honestly, I don’t see how anyone could ever get bored.
I anticipate books the same way. I literally have a list of about 20 books to buy/check out at the library at any given time, so I go through the process of reading book reviews, reading articles about lesser known authors, determining what genre of book I’m in the mood to read, which book I can get my hands on the quickest, etc. So many great options. Such glorious anticipation.
Today, I will do some planning and anticipating. It does my heart good.