KEVIN TATE: Life from a knee-high perspective reminds us who we are

By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer

I saw a video on the internet the other day that was beautiful in its simplicity. A dad had mounted a small camera on a bicycle helmet, then put the helmet on his 3-year-old daughter and recorded her perspective of their game of hide-and-seek.
The little girl ran through the house, hassling and hustling. The camera jogged from side to side in the running gait unique to the smallest of children, those for whom everything in life is still the grandest of adventures.
Eventually she found him, then laughed and squealed away. Cute enough, I suppose, but it was the angle on life it offered that struck me as most special. Someday the video will be among that dad’s most treasured possessions, and for reasons he couldn’t possibly comprehend right now.
As Father’s Day nears, I think about the family I’ve gotten to watch grow, how my wife and children are my greatest treasures, joys I could never have anticipated before the fact.
Our changing perspective on things that stay the same is one of the great processes of life, of course, and one of its greatest blessings.
My little girl changed my perspective on everything nine summers ago, then a few years later my little boy showed up and changed it all again. Things I thought I knew, things I was absolutely sure of, all look different now from a slightly different point of view, and the angle of that view continues to change.
Walking through the world I’m suddenly sharing with the small ones, it’s instructive to think of things the way they must see them. They’re both very smart kids, but their view is not yet clouded with the distractions and roadblocks adults insist, in our wisdom, on creating to impede ourselves.
An angle from which hills are mountains, rivers stretch on forever, from which tall buildings really do seem to touch the sky, that’s what our kids have to show us, things we’ve forgotten we ever saw.
Listening to them grow, it’s easy to see life as a wonder again, which of course it is, easy to remember things as we once thought they were, and often to remind ourselves there’s no reason not to think of them that way again.
Kevin Tate is V.P. of Media Productions for Mossy Oak in West Point.