Of course the answer to my question from earlier today is obvious. What is there to love about parenting? My kids. And I do love them. Fiercely.
I can imagine you all must doubt that I feel anything positive about parenting. I will admit that some days, I don’t. But the good moments with my kids, when they happen, surpass the good of most other things in my life. They really can be a potent source of joy.
Here are just a few things I love about my children, and parenting them, right now:
The way my daughter bounces through life. When she’s happy, my daughter exudes joy and enthusiasm. She can be a bright, bright light.
Watching my daughter learn to read and thinking of all the amazing books we will share, and the movies we will watch, and the conversations about them we’ll have.
When my daughter does something for me, without me asking, just to make me smile.
Wrastling with my daughter on her bed, cracking fart jokes and laughing until our sides hurt.
When my daughter asks some incredible question that shows how much she’s thinking about the world, like: Mommy, who was the first person and how did he get here? What was here before the water and the sand?
When I see my daughter be a good friend to someone else.
When I watch my daughter learn something new.
The way my son talks, so excited just to be able to vocalize his thoughts in a way others understand.
The intense excitement of my son’s words when he asks his sister to do something or realizes she wants to play with him.
When my son yells Mommy! and runs to me when I pick him up from school, and how he always tells me, first thing, “I played with my friends!”
The way my son rubs his blankie between his fingers when he’s self-soothing after an upset.
The softness of his face when I smother my son with kisses.
The intense concentration with which my son turns to me when I ask for “a hug and a mooch.”
The weight of my son’s body on my chest when he asks for “snuggles on the big chair.”
The sound of my son’s laugh.
There is more, so much more. And these bright spots really are amazing. I just wish there were more of them in any given day, and I wish I wasn’t so exhausted from all the emotional managing to appreciate them more.