love & happiness; a new parenting trick

I went home at lunch today and found my two girls (8 and 4) crying and arguing. (Christi had gone to visit the next door neighbor). As soon as they saw me they both started making their appeals to me – lots of crying and whining.

Normally, we try to find ways of getting them to sort it out themselves.  This time, I just sang in my best opera imitation . . . “Loooove AAAnnd Haaappiiiiineeesssss.”

That stopped them in their tracks for a brief second, then they picked up right where they had left off.

So I sang it again, “LOOOOVVVVEEE Aaaaand Haapiiiiineeesssssss.”

I could see that I had made a little more progress, but they were not to be so easily dissuaded, so I tried one last time. LOOOVE AND HAAAPINESSSSSSS!!!!!

This time they couldn’t help themselves, they burst out laughing, gave each other a hug, and started playing happily as if nothing had ever happened.

Things I will miss when my kids grow up

  • Seeing how hard Liam (2) works to communicate his thoughts with his limited vocabulary and seeing the joy on his face when he knows he succeeds.
  • Hearing Liam pray spontaneously before bed: “Jesus . . . Thank . . . Day . . . Mommy . . . Day . . . Mommy . . . Day . . . Daddy . . . Wawa (Kiara) . . . LeïLa . . . Day . . . Mommy . . . Day . . . Njeri . . . Nicholas . . . Auntie Bef (my sister Beth who is here) . . . Teacher Ann (his school teacher) . . . and a long list of school playmates.
  • Being able to point out and get excited about planes, trains, trucks, buses, trees, cows, bugs and animals of all kinds, trees and flowers, etc. Life is full of so many very exciting things to which we have simply grown numb.
  • The joy of success at a new somersault.
  • Asking Leïla (4) if she would want to be President of the United States when she grows up and having her start to cry and say, “No! I want to stay right here with my mommy!” What would you like to do when you grow up? “I want to be either a cartographer or a chef.” Why do you want to be a cartographer? “Because then I would get to draw maps.” (Who taught her that?)
  • Overhearing Kiara (8) very sweetly talking Leïla into picking the movie she (Kiara) wants to watch. Leila: “That one is too scary . . .” Kiara: “I understand, but maybe if . . .”
  • Being able to pile all three kids into the jogging stroller and enjoy their cheerful conversations on a long, grueling jog.
  • So much more. . .