The little trucks that get parked in my office. Then they’re rediscovered later like they’re Atlantis. There are so many opportunities for joy when you’re so forgetful.
Really, fathering is a gold mine for small, memorable moments. Like when your boy wakes suddenly in inconsolable distress, gagging on his own concern, unable to speak… because he has to go wee.
A single day as a father can fill an A4 sheet with memorable moments.
Everyone seems to appreciate the “little things” more as they get older. I think that may be because as you experience the world you inevitably begin to better understand how little of a thing you are – and that things needn’t be grand to be meaningful. This little truck thing right here between me and my boy is so uniquely “our” little thing. Heck, it’s pretty much my thing – he won’t even remember the truck is here until he spots it tomorrow morning. But the fact I know that about my son.. and I can watch him in my mind carefully parking his truck underneath the piano and then entirely forgetting about it moments after. Well, let’s just say my brain is equipped to make a whole lot of meaning out of that vivid image of a little human I’m so deeply devoted to – despite how little a thing this truck event adds up to be.
It seems you come to love and devote yourself to your child the same way as anything else. Put enough time and dedicated effort into anything and you get to know it really well, such that you pass a threshold where it becomes intensely interesting at a personally meaningful level. And I think this can certainly happen with animals too, i.e. pets.
As an engineer & technologist, I have conceptual access to the most interesting tools and systems humans have created so far… Living things are much more interesting. Many more ways they can permutate. Particularly if you seed their minds with curiosity, ideas, and empathy and their bodies with graceful strength and skill.
Insight often does emerge indirectly. Study technology to better appreciate humans. Experience the big to appreciate the small.
I suppose this indirect approach to insight and wisdom may be the primary accomplishment of Confucius and eastern meditation in general.
Another, to close…Write your thoughts to teach yourself.