My son is the sort of person who lives in the moment. I envy him his gift. Not only does it make him a thoroughly enjoyable and joy-filled soul, but it spares him all sorts of ugliness, like bitterness and anger, as well. He never holds grudges and he always genuinely appreciates the person he is with at any given moment.
Of course, this gift does not come without its challenges as well. He is often distracted by newer, fresher moments as they come along. He sometimes struggles to maintain enthusiasm about an interest when he is not directly experiencing some aspect of it. The worst, though, is probably just how difficult it is for him when he realizes that he cannot have everything that the moment has to offer.
When my son in confronted with a fire engine stopped at a light, for example, he wants to seize the moment and communicate with the fire fighters. If they do not respond to his voracious waving, he forgets about all the times they did respond and feels sad about the perceived "snub".
It is easy for me, as a parent, to feel frustrated by such moments, concerned that he is not developing a strong enough sense of gratitude for his blessings.
Recently, while witnessing a crane-boat fish a dry dock out of the water to move it from one part of a lake to another, it pained him to watch. He knew he could not get aboard the crane-boat and so it was almost harder to watch the procedure than to walk away. He later told me that he was going to have to figure out how to erase from his mind the very notion of getting to ride on that boat that day.
I realized then that he does not lack gratitude. He is simply so enthralled in each moment of his life that it sometimes requires a bit of re-focussing to see the proverbial forest through the trees.
It is a small price to pay for all that joy, one that he will learn to navigate eventually.