Simplicity of Childhood and Valentine’s Day

Last night, we let The Bear stay up to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with us. This was a big treat for her. Without needing to explain, she knew that she had entered some kind of after-bedtime, adult world. And The Bear acted the part. I was momentarily running upstairs and she joined me. At the base of the stairs, The Bear stopped, turned, and poked her head around the corner. In a very adult voice, our four-year-old said,

“Dad, while we’re upstairs, do you need anything? Can I get you a cup of wine or something?”

Of course, MJ and I were completely amused. But we suppressed our laughter as she was so serious and genuine in her offer.

Yesterday morning I awoke to the newly formed laughter of Banana. MJ had her on her change table and was lifting her naked, pudgy little foot to her mouth. Banana couldn’t hold back her joy. She was laughing from the depths of her belly, cooing in between, and smiling throughout.

It’s simple moments like these that fill MJ and I with so much joy and laughter. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in the overwhelming task of parenting. I’m at risk of dwelling on the worries, to-do lists, concern over discipline, or the latest ‘phase.’ But it is equally important to recognize the mystique of innocence residing in our home.

So, in honour of Valentine’s Day, I’m thinking of the love we have for our children. It is often the simplicity of childhood that leads us to feel the joy and amusement in parenting. It is the simplicity that helps us grow our love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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