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Pride and Joy

I know it's a little blurry but it's beautiful.

When I was a kid my dad used to say that we children were his pride and joy. I am fortunate to have two parents who were not shy about expressing affection to us. Obviously I couldn't understand that feeling of pride and joy until I had kids of my own.

There are some days as a parent that I can be particularly emotional in the love I feel for my kids; I'm sentimental, and too-often cognizant of the ephemeral nature of life. The best thing about that recognition is that I think I've been a little more aware of some of the special moments that can happen.

The cool thing about kids is that I'm often one step away from one of the best moments of my life. The other day I bent down next to my daughter's stool at the dining room table and I felt a leg quickly wrap around my neck and over my shoulder - a covert operation that Ellie undertook to get a piggy back ride from daddy. Sam then reached for me, and before I knew it I had him in my arms and her on my shoulders and we were dancing and smiling and in that moment I knew that very little can be or will be better than that isolated moment in time.

Ellie's going to Kindergarten next year and she's so perceptive. I'm so sentimental I get choked up with her sometimes over the smallest little moments and now she notices, and it will probably drive her nuts one day. The other day she asked me something about when she was in mommy's tummy, and there was a catch in my throat, and she said, Don't cry about it daddy, just tell me! I laughed and said that the tears were when I had too much joy in my heart and needed to let a little out so I wouldn't pop.

Sam is walking more confidently and when we're outside the smile doesn't leave his face. It rarely leaves his face anyway. One of my proudest moments was last night after dinner, and I just wanted to make him giggle. Fart noises in any situation are always guaranteed laughers, so I made some by blowing in between my thumb and forefinger. I got my giggle, and then I got something better. He started making the noises on his hand too which made us all laugh. It didn't matter that the work day ended low because my dinner table was filled with love, laughter, and fart noises.

I hope my kids learn to love, and I hope they learn that silliness is a virtue. I hope they understand beauty and one day appreciate all the beautiful moments that have made up their childhoods so far. Without them I never would have understood what my dad meant when he said you children are my pride and joy, and I'm so grateful now that I do.

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