There is nothing that I find more satisfying, as a parent, than seeing my children learn something new. Those first few tries of something previously impossible, their tentativeness giving way to growing confidence. Then finally, they just get it. It's pretty extraordinary to watch.
I have never been more proud of my children than the day Katie sat down and read a book to me. Reading was like that for her - stumbling and bumbling and then you could almost see the lightbulb come on and everything click.
It's a hundred small things every day. Getting shoes on the right feet. Making a sandwich without losing a finger. Sometimes it's monumental, like the reading, or riding a bike. And sometimes, it's more profound - seeing Katie become a leader among her peers, or Julia show kindness to a friend, or Henry...well, Henry's just 2. We're lucky if we get through a day without him eating boogers. Profound can wait.
Then there's all the subjects on which I am a reluctant teacher. God. Death. Love. Sex. I don't know a single parent who looks forward to answering questions from their child about sex, especially past the rudimentary 'put stick in hole, make baby' part. No one walks away from a tough conversation feeling like, 'Yes! Abortion! I really knocked that one out of the park!'. No one gives themselves a mental high five for trying to explain syphillis.
And when you have done a pretty good job, or you think you have, you end up with a kid who walks around for three months calling you a vagina. (Thanks, Julia.)
There are questions about life that I don't want to answer, because I don't know the answers. In the end, I have to make due with opionions and best guesses, and hope that they have the good sense to find the answers on their own. Which, in the end, is a lesson in itself.
2 weeks ago