To all of you parents who have a child under two years of age - hold on, it just keeps getting better!
When my daughter was first born, I really didn't understand my relationship with her at all. All she did was cry and poop. I knew I loved her, but Mommy provided for all of her needs. I just kept the mortgage paid up so she didn't have to live in a cave with bears. Once she reached the age where she could smile back at me, I was hooked. I knew she was human. I knew she could respond to emotion.
I knew that she would have me wrapped around her finger.
My wife and I have noticed that our daughter has started giving unsolicited affection. There is nothing like hearing your child randomly say, "I love you." She will also give us unsolicited hugs and kisses. This is the stuff that melts your heart, folks! Just when you think you love your kid more than you ever could, they show you love unsolicited, and you just gotta ratchet that love meter up another notch.
But she doesn't stop there. She now repeats phrases that we have said to her in the past, but she says them on her own, and she really means them. She uses phrases like, "You take good care of me," "God made me special," "I want to help people." How sweet is this kid?!
I'm sure life is full of moments like this, but I am committed to savoring each one for as long as possible. I hope that my sharing them with you helps you to slow down and remember these moments with your own kids.
Remember, your child can't show you unsolicited affection if they have never seen it with their own eyes. Go hug your kid. Tell them you love them.
Make sure to check back on Friday when we will have another edition of Real Fatherhood Stories featuring Aaron of DadBlunders.com.