Finding joy in the little stuff

Yes, it’s kind of cheesy, all these little books that talk about not sweating the small stuff, and taking appreciation of the finer, simpler points of life.
But when you’re a daddy, you kind of understand it.
Like this morning for example. During the last month or so, I’ve made a habit of stacking building blocks in front of little YY, showing him how to do it. More often than not, I wouldn’t get any more than two or three blocks high before he would gleefully swat at it and knock the whole thing over.
Sometimes, I’ll get up to 10 blocks high – mind you, these are simple blocks, maybe 1.5-inch wooden cubes – and then he’d come over, big goofy smile on his face, and inspect for maybe a second or two… and then swat at it, knocking the whole thing over.
Every time I did this, I noticed that he’d take a little more time to study what was going on here. Blocks being stacked on top of one another? Strange and fascinating. Wonder what to make of it?
Then last week – or was it the week before? I don’t even remember – I noticed that he would just watch me stack the blocks and carefully manuevre his way around, studying it from all sides. Sometimes he’d carefully reach out and try and grab the top block and throw it away, and repeat until he got to the last one at the bottom.
I thought this was nifty little progress. X was talking to her mother on Skype one day and watching me do this with little YY, and her mother commented on how cool it was that he was doing this at the tender age of one year old.
I have no idea what’s normal at this age. All I know is what’s normal for little YY, and so, this is normal to me.
Then, yesterday, I demonstrated the stacking of blocks once again, teaching him how to do it. I would put a block in his hand and see what he did with it. Instead of tossing it aside as he always did before, he would drop the block on the spot where we were stacking the blocks. Very neat.
And this morning? A little victory. I put a block on a low shelf in front of him, and gave him another block, gently guiding him to put it on the first block.
He tried it. Put the block on top of the other one, and failed.
Tried it again, and succeeded!
I clapped my hands and cheered. Big smile on his face.
Lest it be a fluke, I tried again. Guided him to do it, and with his clumsy little one-year-old hands, he put the block on top of the other one. And kind of – kind of – did it all by himself.
Wow, it was awesome. It’s such a little thing, but I was pretty excited to see him do that.
Makes me wonder what’s to come. If I can find this much joy in this little thing, imagine what I’ll feel – and what X will feel – when we see him accomplish other things.