Childlike Wonder: Lurray Caverns and Circ De Soleil

My sister T told me once that her favorite thing about our mom was her unceasing childlike wonder at the world. It was something she never grew out of. After my mom died, T told me that then became her favorite thing about me. 

After Addison’s, I’ve felt my endless zeal and energy becoming much more tempered and focused. I almost think I’ve lost my childlike wonder sometimes. The adult in me even tries to message to my brain that I don’t need to know or wonder about things like trees or a feathered dinasaur tail captured in amber for the first time. 

But then there’s Aria. She makes it all matter all over again. 

Moreover, I’m so sillily surprised at how entranced she gets by new and marvelous things, even though she has no context or understanding of what they are. 

This fall when we visited Lurray Caverns, I was surprised by her excitement and awe at each new formation. She squealed with delight and clapped her hands. She pointed and wore a most enthusiastic smile.

She had no notion of a cave. 

It didn’t matter. 

It was amazing. She didn’t need me to tell her that. 

At 18 months, she could appreciate the wonder of it all by herself. 

Tonight we took Aria to Circ de Soleil in Quebec. DH had been opposed at first — “It’s like the least Canadian thing we can do!” Then our food tour guide yesterday introduced himself, “My name is Jacques and I am from Baie St Paul, a small city in North East Quebec and the birthplace of Circ de Soleil!” 

For once in my marriage, DH totally ate his words!


Aria was entranced. At first, as a gleaming building sized red egg shook and flashed in the middle of the stage amidst whirling music, Aria began to wail. 

And then out stepped a insect-like conductor with pied wings on his back, long curled toes, and bobbing antanae from a bald head. A swarm of other colored insects took the stage. Grasshoppers with angled green legs bending at the backs of the normal human legs. Playful red ants with tiny antanae and lovely grins. A curvy lady bug with bright polka dots and darling red wings. 

Aria was entranced. She laughed out loud at the costumed insects. 

She sat in my arms for a while. Then had to get closer. She moved down a row and hung against the railing, her head leaned against her folded arms and her eyes fixated on the stage. 

She by the second act, she was clapping after each performance with the crowd. 

It was like that for an hour. 

At intermission, I tried to get her to go to sleep, but she wanted to go back in. She wanted to see the end, though it was an hour past her bedtime. 

Again. She had no notion of a circus. But she loved it. It was new and colorful and fascinating. That’s all she needed to fall in love with the performance. 

I don’t know why this surprised me, how someone so little could enjoy so many different, but new experiences. 

I wish she could remember them. 

I wonder how experiences like these impact her long run. 

I just don’t know. 

But I do know that I love it, that there was no real thought of leaving Aria home as we went off and fled to Canada for Thanksgiving. We just like it better with her. 

She just makes everything so new. 

She restores the wonder within me. 


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