Seeing life through fresh eyes

The fresh eyes of a baby

As a newbie grandmother, I am constantly blown away by the thoughts and feelings that envelop me when I see my little granddaughter watching the world around her.

She is like a sponge, soaking everything up, taking it all in, storing the sights, sounds and now tastes of the world around her.

I wonder what she’s seeing, how she’s making sense of it all, what she’s thinking – which in turn makes me wonder at the sheer brilliance of life.  The best part of being a grandmother is the seeing from a distance, rather than being in the thick of things as the mother.  I can stand back and watch and wonder, without all the responsibility of being the primary caregiver, as I was when my babies were this age.

It is a wonderful stage of life and I am thoroughly enjoying it. There are so many bits of baby life that I’d forgotten about.  How they just do things in a predetermined order without being taught, the stages that follow on seamlessly from each other, like the various stages of rolling over, tasting new things, baby babble and the constant watching everything through her beautiful brown eyes. She is a pure delight, so bright, alert and strong.

Fresh eyes on the world
Fresh eyes on the world

The fresh eyes of a youth exchange student

Being the host mother and counsellor to a collection of Rotary Youth Exchange students over the years has shown me how life can be seen through fresh eyes.  They arrive knowing nothing about our life but soon become immersed in the family, a part of our lives for ever.  I often wonder what they see and how they make sense of it all.  I honestly don’t know if I could have done it at their age. Could you?

We show them things of our way of life and our country to enhance their experience but in doing so we also see life through their eyes.  We see it through a fresh set of eyes, and this can be a real eye opener!  It can also help to keep you feeling young, vibrant and useful.

There is something incredibly hopeful about a fresh start!

Recently we took our now 17 year old Hungarian student Anna to the NSW South Coast.  My husband had taken her and some friends on a dolphin cruise last month but unfortunately no dolphins were spotted.  The company had a policy that if you don’t see dolphins you are entitled to a free trip next time, so we took them up on it and not only did we all get a free cruise on a glorious summer’s day, we also went boom netting and saw heaps of dolphins and she got to drive the boat for a short time!!  We have done this cruise numerous times over the years but by having Anna with us, we saw it through her eyes and had a fresh view of it all, and I must say it was exhilarating!
 

The fresh eyes of me

I wrote a post ages ago about Harmony and was reminded of it when thinking of what to write in this post.  I’ll share the link here if you’d like to read my poem. Harmony through my eyes

In the meantime here’s a selfie of me taking in the world through my ‘not so fresh‘ eyes!

my fresh eyes
my fresh eyes – behind my sunglasses!

The fresh eyes of a mural 

I saw this mural on a wall last week in Nowra, and thought it was worth sharing, as the eyes and smile caught my attention.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Fresh eyes
Fresh eyes

This week the prompt for Terri’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge, is Fresh and it was fun to look at how fresh can be interpreted.  What do you think of when you hear the word fresh?

Feel free to leave a comment below. I always like hearing from you!

This post can be pinned for later:

See the world through fresh eyes

Deb x

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Also linking up to Denyse’s #Lifethisweek and the weekly Midlife Share the Love party #mlstl

All my Sunday Stills posts can be found here.

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Through fresh eyes

69 Replies to “Seeing life through fresh eyes”

  1. Hi Deb I totally agree about the special relationship between grandchild and grandmother. A memory I treasure is the first time I was holding Ethan and he felt the breeze. A look of wonder came over his face – he could feel something but couldn’t see it. Another was the first time he saw bubbles floating in the air. Such precious memories and I’m lucky enough to be going through it all again with Elliot. You are such an inspiration with your involvement with the Rotary Youth Exchange. Thank you for starting my week with such a lovely and inspiring post. I’m off to look at some photos of E1 & E2 (my grandsons) although I don’t need much of an excuse to do that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for sharing these delightful stories of Ethan and your experiences as a grandmother. They are very lucky to have you! I enjoy working with Rotary as it does great work all over the world, and youth exchanges is just one of them. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed my post, it was fun putting it together. x

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  2. Being a grandmother is such a wonderful feeling, knowing that little precious baby came from your child and is part of you. The wonder in their eyes, watching them learn new things. Truly an awesome experience for those of us lucky enough to become grandparents ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the story about Anna and the dolphin cruise Deb – sitting on the boom netting looks like a blast. I think as long as you choose to look at the world with an unjaundiced eye, you know you’re not getting old 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post really got me thinking! I’m currently studying poetry as part of a university course and we’re unpacking words all the time. This prompted me to think about the word “fresh” and to think about how eyes can be fresh in different ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I doubt that with your attitude your eyes are old Deb, it sounds to me that your eyes are wide open and looking for new opportunities on a daily basis. Cheers to that

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your description of how it feels to be a new grandmother and see the world through you “seeing from a distance” is a perfect description (I imagine). I am not yet a grandmother (some years yet) but I can readily imagine from what I’ve read from others how glorious that new insight must be. It’s also cool that you’re taking full advantage of the exchange student experience. That’s an excellent perspective. Sure, you’re sharing your home, but you’re getting so much too! And I love that pic of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s lovely experiencing things with young children isn’t it? Their sense of wonder and intrigue is infectious and as you say you view it all through their eyes. I think its partially the same when you take friends and family to places that you know well and they’ve never seen. Makes it all fresh as you enjoy their new experience. Currently we’re housesitting for a few animals but there is a little kitten who has that look of wonder about so many things. I just sit sometimes and watch him exploring and learning about the world around him. Funny and you see things so differently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you’ve nailed it Jonno! The wonder and the way you can almost see their brains ticking over. I also love taking visitors to favourite places and enjoying it through their eyes. Thanks for sharing your insights and joining in the conversation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This post is delightful, Deb. I remember how I melted when my first grandchild arrived. Everyone talked about how my ‘life would change’ when I became a grandmother, and how I’d ‘fall in love again.’ Well, I thought that was all hocus pocus. Until I held my 1 hour old granddaughter. Ever since then I’ve been in love with her and with life (with fresh eyes and a fresh outlook). My granddaughter is now TEN (yikes!) and we have such a good time together. I talk to her about insights I have, and she shares her insights of life, and we learn so much from each other. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s beautiful to hear of your relationship! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and telling me how much you enjoyed my post. I agree, I knew I would feel differently once I became a grandmother but I didn’t understand how much and how deeply I would feel seeing her eyes watching and taking it all in. You’re right, we learn so much from each other. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Debbie – Being with your granddaughter and the youth exchange students will keep you young and see the world with fresh eyes. What fun experience you had on the dolphin cruise! I saw many dolphins when I was in the Strait of Gibraltar one summer. It was a thrill to see them in their habitat. #seniorsalon

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your post is also a breath of fresh air.
    I totally related to your reflections; although not a grandmother, my relationship with my nephews feel like you described, and nonetheless because we enjoy the advantage of not being their primary caretakers. So we can observe more.
    The exchange students are so lucky to have you both as mindful and careful hosts.
    I ca see that it’s a win/win as well, as there is so much to learn from each other’s cultures and inter generational views of the world.
    Sounds like you had a great time.
    And last but not least, your poem! Chapeau!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s lovely to hear from you Lucile and your comment is a breath of fresh air to me too! It’s true we can observe more when not in the main caring role and it’s much more fun! Yes it’s a win/win situation all round 🙂 . Life is pretty good for us at the moment and we are enjoying our parenting duties. My poem was written ages ago but is still pertinent today. Thanks so much for your visit and comment xx

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    1. Yes, that’s another way of looking at things in a fresh way Pat! When I was teaching inmates in the correctional centre, the light bulb moments were worth it all and life was fresh for them again. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  11. How lovely to have a granddaughter and see everything fresh through her eyes and the same with having your 17 year old exchange student. I remember enjoying seeing things again through fresh eyes when I had my children. I go to do kindy, preschool, primary school and high school again and all the other life experiences that were more fun through their eyes … like Christmas with Santa, and Easter etc. When I think of the word fresh I think of fresh air – and in particular the crisp fresh morning air of a spring, winter or autumn morning. I just love it! Such a lovely post to read Deb! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Min, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my take on fresh! I like your interpretation of fresh too, fresh air is a great way of looking at it! This morning was quite crisp here and hopefully the summer heatwave has passed now. Thanks again 🙂

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  12. A delightful post. One of the BEST things about being Grandma for me was I was not the parent! I took time to engage with each and every one as a baby and now of course..far beyond that stage. I “met” every one of my 8 grandkids “on their birthdays”. One was 5 mins after birth…I had gone for a “walk” so missed his arrival, and others were all within hours. Such a privilege and one I never take for granted.

    I made collages of their photos of the day they were born and have two frames: one for our daughter’s 4 and one for our son’s. Each has the date of birth in the photo from their hospital crib. Now they are 22, almost 20, 18, 11, 9, almost 7, 5 and almost 4. Waaahhhh! I miss those days. No, they need to grow and grow up.

    I had the best few moments in my head and neck cancer surgeon’s waiting room when I played a game engaging with an 10 month old yesterday. F for FUN!

    By the way, that looking into the baby’s eyes and how they look back is what helps the brain’s development big time. I learned about that when caring for #7! Now she is in school.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is: 8/51. My Favourite Decade. 25/2/19. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a great comment Denyse! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on being a grandmother and I love your way of marking their birth days! Looking into a baby’s eyes is so mesmerising and I wasn’t aware it helped in the brain’s development!
      I can imagine having fun with a 10 month old!
      Thanks again for the opportunity to link up.

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  13. Ah, Yes! nothing like a developing grandchild to slow you down and recreate the wonders of our life. My daughter recently sent me a video of my tiny granddaughter trying to figure out jumping… how we take it for granted as adults! except now that my knees are increasingly unreliable I had a good laugh that both of us pretty much “jump” the same awkward way!
    When my children were still in scholl we also hosted international students. It’s an excellent way to see so much through frtesh eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Agnes, I completely agree! Jumping sounds like a great example of something we take for granted. It’s goof to hear you’ve also experienced hosting international students, despite being hard work at times, it is a great program to keep your outlook on the world ‘fresh’ 🙂

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    1. Thanks Sam, it’s such a different feeling to being a mother. I would never have believed that possible before.

      Hope you’re settling down after your great trip away.

      I watched the 2018 Bash video again recently and it was so good to see your happy face along with everyone else’s 😊

      Like

  14. The best thing about fresh eyes seeing the world is being with them and experiencing their reaction and perhaps even getting to “see” what/how they are seeing it. Great pictures and that boom netting experience looks like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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