There are plenty of joys associated with parenting, but it’s the unexpected ones that get me the most excited.
Sure, the first steps and first words are tremendous joys in this parenting adventure, and those monumental achievements deserve all the special hoopla.
However, for me, I have found I particularly enjoy the more subtle and mundane moments with my kids. The random occasions that remind me how much they have grown and how they are constantly changing and evolving.
For instance, with Carson, who is not talking yet, there was a moment when he was looking out the window in our house a couple weeks ago that has stayed with me.
The kid loves a window and seems to enjoy watching the goings on outside. He gets a huge smile on his face and immediately begins to point, laugh and grunt at things he sees, such as birds, trees, cars, cats, dogs and neighbors.
While he continues to progress on his verbal skills but has yet to say anything other than mama and dada, it’s amazing the sounds he makes when put in front of a window.
Although technically not speaking, Carson had a lot on his mind on this particular day at the window and for about five minutes spoke in his own way. I call it passionate mumbling. He was so enthralled that I was even able to record him doing his version of “talking” and able to play it back for Pam later.
It was such a special occasion because Pam has been taking our little guy to a speech therapist two times a week for a year. It’s been a challenging process all the way around.
As I was watching and recording him chat up a storm, I couldn’t help but get a bit misty because it’s the first signs of true improvement that I have personally witnessed.
That moment ranks right up there for me with seeing him take his first steps. Sometimes while driving, I just play his little one-minute chat session back to remind me to keep matters in perspective.
As I have said numerous times here, Beckett is quite the opposite from Carson. One of the main differences currently is our oldest son, who turns 4 next month, talks incessantly. He’s always speaking about something or the other, airing his concerns and opinions, and I am constantly amazed at his vocabulary and inquisitive nature.
Although he’s been a tremendous talker for some time, I have marveled lately over the fact he and I are having extensive conversations about all sorts of subjects.
The only unfortunate aspect of the situation is the conversations have to take place under his terms. Ask him, “How his day was or what was the most fun you had today” and he will give you a one-word answer or an “I don’t know.” He doesn’t seem to be too into the pleasantries.
Rather, he prefers to ask questions and seek details to matters that confuse or interest him.
For example, he and I spoke for about 15 minutes the other day about why not every newspaper we have in the house has a photo of his father in it. He seemed to struggle with that one. We went back and forth for way too long on this subject until I eventually distracted him with a cookie.
Some of my favorite conversations with Beckett take place while driving, and one the other morning still has me in awe. It went something like this.
Beckett: “hey, daddy, that indigo car has a brake light out.”
Me: “Oh, okay”
Beckett: “Would you call a brake light an innovation or an invention?”
Me: “Well … I think both.”
Beckett: “Daddy, it can’t be both. It has to be one or the other — I think it’s an innovation because there are light bulbs everywhere.”
We continued on this topic for about 15 minutes, and I couldn’t help but give him a high-five for being so curious about things. I love that about him.
Yes, there are plenty of proud parenting moments along this journey, and for me it’s these sorts of everyday occurrences that I value most.
That may all change in the future when more extensive accomplishments are reached. Until then, though, I will just enjoy these little moments when they arise and try to remember them.
Writing about it helps, and I sure hope you don’t mind reading about them … over and over again.
Voting was a family affair for us this week.
It was mostly uneventful, as both kids behaved and did not have much to say about the experience.
They didn’t seem to really enjoy it or be annoyed by it. They just cooperated and we did our business.
It may have been because we had the entire polling site to ourselves, besides the poll volunteers.
On our way out of Berlin Intermediate School on Tuesday, Beckett didn’t have much to say, but did manage to squeeze out a, “oh man, I wanted to go on the boat.”
Apparently, the poor guy thought when we said “we are going to go vote” that we said something about boat instead.
I could understand his disappointment.