You want to know why I have kids? Why it all feels worthwhile despite the extremely challenging days I have home with these three young men? Here’s an example.
I took my younger 2 boys to the botanical gardens yesterday after kindergarten drop-off. (The actual truth is that I took them first to the six-pack shop because long solo parenting stints make me crave a nice wheat beer)
In the children’s market room at the gardens, an employee was leading a craft where the kiddos made little umbrellas from coffee filters and pipe cleaners. I make a point, always, not to take over my kids’ art projects and even though it’s hard to “let” them create something that seems gnarled and uneven, I want them to feel proud that what they made is theirs alone.
So, I protected my wee Felix as the employee tried to direct his umbrella decorating. He wanted pink and purple streaks just on one side and he wanted to add the orange sticker holding the package of markers closed. And then he was ready for his umbrella handle and oh! The joy on that boy’s face as he showed me his completed tissue umbrella.
I carry it so warmly in my heart.
As we made our way through the building, we noticed it began raining outside. I told Felix to put up his hood, because we’d have to make a run for it to the van. “Oh!” he said, “I can use my umbrella to keep us dry!”
And he meant it with every ounce of his toddler soul! He meant it!
And he held up that tissue-paper-pipe-cleaner umbrella to keep us dry as the three of us dashed through the rain, and he wept when he saw the rain had streaked his marker drawings, and I held him and told him I thought it looks so much more beautiful now that the rain broke it in a little bit.