Through Their Eyes
There are times when just looking at my sons makes me crumble. And it’s usually for the smallest things. The expressions they make, how they try out new words, and how their voices still sound babyish. For those tenderest moments, they slay me. How they kiss me goodbye when I go away on trips, how they call me Daddy, or how they give me a real hug, their little arms squeezing me with all their might.
It’s these moments I want to bottle up and keep forever, take sips off of them when I need them most. I’ve got a small journal going where I keep all their words and phrases, as well as a few audio files of their songs and conversations. They know nothing of these things because they’re experiencing their world minute by minute. Each day, every hour, every minute, is something new. They won’t know the sweetness of their actions until they are in my shoes, when they are fathers one day, seeing the world through their children’s eyes.
As beautiful and sweet as these moments are, there are plenty that drive my wife and I crazy. Our boys test our patience daily. I often wonder if I’m a horrible parent, trying to discipline them when I know they simply don’t know any better. But such is this small passageway from babyhood to childhood—toddlers need a watchful eye on them all the time. They need guidance, firmness, and tenderness.
A clairvoyant once said that the imagined friends toddlers talk to are actually their guardian angels. This may be true, since children at this age are themselves magical beings, however I’d venture to say that we, their parents, teachers, babysitters, and family members are their true guardian angels. We are the ones entrusted with their care. It is we whose responsibility it is to love and protect them, while having the gift of reliving those moments we’ve long since forgotten.