Ben Holliday

Grounded: the things that made me smile this morning

At about 7:40am this morning I was stood in the ticket queue in Leeds railway station when a little boy came over to tell me it was his birthday. He waved his fingers at me in desperation to tell me that he was now 3 years old.

He wanted to tell me, a complete stranger, all about his birthday party and visiting his grandmas house. I was able to tell him that my little girl is also 3 and agreed with his mum that it’s a great age!

Those little moments with young children are really life affirming. It’s the joy they take in sharing. My children are just like this, but you easily forget what’s it’s really like to be part of these conversations. Not just the slightly embarrassed parent.

I wonder how much we really miss out on as grown-ups. The joy of sharing, being open, having no embarrassment and believing in the possibility of every little moment with other people.

What if children have all the emotional intelligence we need to relearn?

I then got on a tube across London full of school children going to South Kensington to a world of museums and exploration. They were buzzing, and you could feel the sense of adventure building. You also felt sorry for the teachers trying to get them across the capital.

Everybody else I’ve seen since today looks stressed and in a hurry. Anxious even. Worried about the next thing they’re doing.

I’m going to try and slow down the rest of the day. Stay grounded.

The small moments and conversations all matter.

This is my blog where I’ve been writing for 18 years. You can follow all of my posts by subscribing to this RSS feed. You can also find me on Bluesky, less frequently now on X (formally Twitter), and on LinkedIn.