16-month-old children do not appreciate the Grand Canyon.
During our brief jaunt to one of the world’s most stunning national landmarks, I took William on a walk—him on my shoulders—over to the canyon while Sarah packed up our room. Looking out over that majestic vista, I was stunned by its beauty: the way the light played off the rocks; the subtlety of the shadows; the colors of the layers dating back billions of years.
Meanwhile, William fixated on the bus behind us, something he pointed out by saying “bus” over and over. To be clear, I happily and eagerly joined him in appreciating the presence of that bus. Still, William showed zero interest in the Grand Canyon, a monument even the famously disinterested April Ludgate found impressive.
Adults need the Grand Canyon. We are so unimpressed by the daily occurrences of our lives that we need this almost-otherworldly phenomenon to jar us out of our jaded, unimpressed norm.
William just needs a bus, and he’s set.
I don’t think I need to be more like William. I don’t think I can be more like William. I’ve lived too much, felt too much, been disappointed too much to appreciate the simple wonder of a seeing a bus and knowing that it is, in fact, a “bus”.
That said, I love that my kid loves discovering every little thing about the world. I love that, to William, the best part of the Grand Canyon was the parking lot.