I wish I could see the world through Gabriel’s eyes. Simple things are amazing to a one-year-old. Everyday is an adventure and I love seeing him explore his world. This summer Tim and I showed Gabriel how to pick raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The cutest thing I have ever seen is a toddling baby picking raspberries off a bush and eating them. He reaches out his grubby little fingers, picks a slightly-ripe berry off the bush and shoves it in his mouth. I can tell that he is so proud of himself whenever he can do something independently. However, I do hope that he won’t pick just any berries he finds and eat them.
We are currently visiting my family in Iowa. My mother has an extensive flower garden with a variety of plants. My sister and I had to laugh as Gabriel would enter one end of the garden and walk in-between the plants and flowers on his unsteady legs and try to find a path to the other side. Of course, he was barefoot and would squeal whenever he stepped on anything that was not very forgiving on his tender feet. Most of the plants are taller than him; in his eyes he must have been exploring a wild jungle.
He is teaching me to be more observant, to take my time. I am learning that every puppy must be petted, every flower needs to be smelled and handled, and apples should be picked and fed to any animal that will eat them (cow, dog or cat). I love seeing Gabriel’s face when we come across something new, such as a cornfield. He scrunches his brow as he feels the texture of the stalk. I pick some and pull back the husk so he can see the yellow pellets. He runs his finger across it scanning his memory, trying to connect it with something familiar. I can tell that he recognizes the corn, it is one of the few vegetables that he will eat, but he can’t figure out why it is on an ear like that. He tastes it, says something to himself in jibberish, and then todders away to see what other adventures Grandma’s backyard has in store for him.