When Felicity arrived this Spring, I had just gotten a handle on how to deal with Benedict. Now a toddler, he’s incredibly bright and interactive. We had a weekly routine organized that consisted of errands, trips to the library, adventures to see family, and even ways he could help around the house. As with all things, the moment that we get comfortable and confident, things change.
One of my greatest delights over the past few years has been getting to watch Benedict grow. Along the way, he’s picked up a number of funny and heartwarming habits. When I ask him to do something, he’ll often respond, “Of course, Daddy! Of course!” I know that in a few years that phrase will completely disappear from his vocabulary, but for now, I’ll relish in it. He doesn’t take time-outs personally. He’ll sit quietly in his chair, head bowed, but as soon as I tell him he may come out, he greets me with a big smile and a hug.
So much of what we believe as a society about children is wrong. We see them as a roadblock and not an opportunity. We see them as a hinderance and not a bonus. These views are so widely held because we are just looking at the situation from the wrong point of view. It’s been my experience that children tend to remind us of the basic goods in life. A sense of discovery and eternal optimism permeates the life of children. They aren’t stressed, they don’t hold on to fear, and they enjoy every moment that they can. Those attributes, if we adopted them as adults, could substantially improve our lives.
Now that I have two children to load into my minivan, I recognize the change that is coming to my life. I’m reminded of the little inconveniences that come with the full time care of a newborn, outweighed, of course, by the full time cuteness. I know that Benedict and I’s daily script, which we worked so hard to create, needs to be thrown out and reworked. I also know that Benedict and I’s opportunity for fun, exploration, and adventure has significantly expanded now that we get to share it with another little person. Benedict is going to be a great big brother, and I hope that his meekness rubs off on Felicity.
Children are a joy, plain and simple. Although they are the original disrupters, what results for the parents is a life better than the one they had planned on their own.