Copyright © 2007 Henrietta W. Hay
A Sense of Wonder
June 29, 2007
My friend the philosopher has become my friend the grandmother. She went from a rational, professional, dignified Boomer to a dithering grandmother in one second.
One look at that tiny, perfect little face and she was gone.
This phenomenon is happening all over the country as female Baby Boomers discover the wonder of becoming grandmothers.
Women in their younger years are so busy maintaining homes and raising children and or building careers that they don't have much time for wondering. Well, they wonder whether the chicken will be done in time and whether the boss will
buy their ideas, but most of them have lost something during those years.
Rachel Carson had the right idea. She wrote that: "If I had influence with the good fairy I should ask her to give each child in the world a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life."
I can speak only for myself, but I believe it is true of most women as we reach the middle years. We have more time and generally become more thoughtful. We discover Rachel Carson was right.
I have always been curious. Maybe that's why I like cats.
But as I have gotten older the sense of wonder has grown. There are so many mysteries in the world.
I held that beautiful baby for a while when he was a few days old -- the first time I had held a newborn in many years. Actually, I was afraid to pick him up, so his new grandmother brought him to me. He looked so fragile. I could only gaze at him with wonder. There he was, a complete human being in miniature. Where did he come from? How could that tiny body become a grown man?
Let me be clear. I know where babies come from. But there is a magical mystery about them. They are so perfect, with all their parts in place ready to go to work.
I wonder about so many things.
Why is the sky blue instead of green or red? How can one tiny seed in the ground produce a beautiful pine tree?
I had a friend several years ago who was lucky enough to have a humming bird nest outside her glass door. We could see it clearly. The nest was about the size of a hen's egg,
and when the tiny eggs were hatched the little birds were about the size of the tip of my little finger. Fully grown they are so very small, but they fly from here to South America in the fall. How can that be?
In a less magical mode, I wonder about the giraffe. Surely there can be no animal with a neck like that!
Then there is Mercury the Wonder Cat.
He uses my lap for a bed whenever possible and slowly goes to sleep. He transforms himself from a long, rangy cat to a round ball of white and orange fur. His head and feet are somewhere in that furry circle, but I don't know where. A knock on the door or one ring of the phone he is up in a second, instantly ready to guard the place. Yes, I wonder how he does it.
I am happy for my friend the grandmother and for all the boomer grandmothers. I hope the sense of wonder never leaves them.