Wonder through the eyes of a child

Susan Manzke
Arianna, Wyatt, and Eli waiting for the World’s Largest Hamburger Parade to begin.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had multiple days spent with family, starting with Camp Manzke and attending Seymour’s annual Burger Fest. These get-togethers are my favorite gatherings because we spend them with the people we love.

I went to the World’s Largest Hamburger Parade with our daughter, Rachel and her family which included her husband, and three of our grandchildren. Bob stayed home. He figured he’d get to play with the kids when they returned to the farm.

Wyatt has a prime viewing spot on Rachel's shoulders and is joined by Eli and Arianna.

Experiencing events with children is the best way to see things. If I was alone, I would have only glimpsed fire trucks and local volunteers, but Eli, Arianna, and Wyatt saw more. To them, these were fantastic machines that brought them joy while they rolled past us on Main Street.

All the children along the route had wide eyes as every vehicle, horse, band, and person passed. They especially loved it when someone tossed candy in their direction. It was great fun watching our three picking up pieces of candy and stashing them into a bag their mother held. Afterward, Rachel had control of the candy and set strict limits—the kids get enough treats when visiting grandma and grandpa.

The balloon rally was a special event for everyone, but again youngsters were filled with awe as those monsters grew right before their eyes—I didn’t witness this. After working in the Seymour Community Historical Society Museum’s gift shop all afternoon, I was just too pooped. Eli, Arianna, and Wyatt told me all about the balloons when they came back to the farm to camp in our backyard again.

Wyatt wearing a hamburger hat.

Just before bedtime, they went outside to look at the sky to view shooting stars as the Perseid Meteor Shower was taking place. Too bad the best they could see was three airplanes before they hunkered down to sleep in their tent.

Children don’t just find magic in large events. The very small tickles their sense of adventure, too.

The day after Burger Fest we all met up for another family gathering. Our grandson Harrison turned five. Before our lunch and birthday cake, two tree frogs were discovered on the deck where the family was sitting. The frogs were not touched. It was enough fun to just watch them—the tiniest one stayed on the leg of a lawn chair all afternoon. One or more of the children would check that it was still there every so often. They thought it was neat that it had stayed for the party.

Eli and Wyatt playing a breath-taking game of Jenga.

A Jenga game on the dining room table can bring a sense of amazement too. How high can we stack the blocks? Who will knock them down? If Grandma plays, will she topple the stack first? They sure love it when we play any sort of game and Grandma or Grandpa loses. I do admit, many a game they are much better at than I am. Tossing a bean bag in the backyard is a lot of fun and really, it doesn’t matter who wins.

I wish we adults felt the same sense of wonder that children do daily. Oh, we get bits and pieces, but it takes a lot to knock our socks off.

I want to be able to feel some of that wonder and amazement soon. I’m hoping to ride the new Ferris Wheel at Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay. Now all I have to do is convince Bob to ride with me and experience some awe—he calls that kind of awe fear as he’s afraid of heights, but maybe just this once he’ll give it a try.

Susan and Bob Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;