I took the above photos this morning on my cell phone. As you may know, these are my two daughters, whom I have dubbed The Girlios: Kiersten (the 12-year-old) and Elena (the 6-year-old).
(I actually have an excellent cell phone camera, and I do not have any idea why these photos are so fuzzy. Maybe because they were taken early in the morning without much light, and I had to turn off the flash because Elena complained it was blinding her. I don’t know.)
These photos were taken during a deceptively rare moment: one in which my daughters were absolutely delighted to be in one another’s company. I say “deceptively rare” because I believe that, looking at these pictures, one would be inclined to believe that Kiersten and Elena are the best of friends and never get on one another’s nerves.
Then again, anyone who has parented siblings, or even has been a sibling, probably wouldn’t fall for such a notion anyway.
I reached for my phone to snap these pictures because the girls just looked so darned cute. And happy. I imagined posting them on social media and enjoying the coos of “aww, aren’t they just adorable?!“
Then I looked at the photos on my computer, rather than just my phone, and saw just how awful they were, quality-wise. I could just imagine my posting them on social media and getting a response back to the tune of, “Hey, ever consider taking a photography class?”
Then I thought, “Oh, I know! I’ll post them on my blog, then write a sweet, touching, yet insightful post about how much I love my daughters.”
I opened Microsoft Word, intending to do that.
And I stared at the screen for a while.
Then I realized two things.
One: Well, that’s original.
I mean, come on. Every parent worth his or her salt loves their children to distraction, right? They drive us insane, exhaust us, worry us, press every button possible to make us think thoughts such as “oh dear God, who decided I should be a parent? I’m going to destroy their young minds and crush their tender souls and doom them to a lifetime of overpriced therapy.”
Even so, we can’t help it. We love our children. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. Unless you are broken in a tragic sense (and some parents are, and my heart breaks for both them and their children), you are crazed with love for your children.
Not really much of a blog post, there.
Two: I’m completely not up to the task.
Parental love sounds like such a simple topic, doesn’t it? As I’ve already mentioned, we all have it, instinctively. And it is simple. We love our children because they are our children.
However, I have just stared at the screen for several more minutes, trying to follow up on this statement, and I’ve concluded that that’s it. That’s all I’ve got. We love our children because they are our children. I don’t see how I can state it in any other way that’s sweet, touching, or insightful. If you want all of that, related to “a parent loves her child,” you’ll need to go elsewhere.
I can, however, tell you some specific things about my children that I just love about them.
I love Kiersten because:
- Everyone says she looks like me.
- She acts so much like me when I was younger that it sometimes feels like I’m reliving my entire childhood, just by being her mother. Only from a safe distance.
- She is much smarter and more driven than I was at her age.
- She dreams, and she dreams big. Her biggest dream at the moment is to someday rebuild the city of Atlantis. Only in her dream, it’s called “Angel City.”
- She hates losing. She will drag out any completely hopeless battle because she absolutely refuses to lose.
- She is instinctively protective of everyone around her. This includes her baby sister, both of her parents, and our dog. Oh, and our aquarium fish.
- She loves what I love. My favorite tennis players and musicians are her favorites, too. (I especially love this because I know it won’t last much longer!)
- She has pronounced “this is the best day ever!” more times than I can count.
- She is every bit as emotional, sensitive, and melodramatic as I have been all my life. (Poor thing.)
I love Elena because:
- She loves puppies, butterflies,flowers, hearts, zebras, frilly dresses, princesses, fairies, and the color pink. In other words, all the most stereotypically “girly” things. She’s either too young to censor these out of her life, or she doesn’t care to, ever. (I selfishly hope it’s the latter.)
- She stops and smells the roses. Or points out the cute wildflowers. Or examines the peculiar item on the stair railing leading to her school. Some might call this dawdling. I (usually) call it “taking the time to enjoy what’s around her.”
- She is a little sponge, soaking up new information quickly and easily.
- She is a teacher’s helper. For example, this morning I heard her tell a classmate, “You’re supposed to be sitting down!!” She knows the rules and is not afraid to make sure you remember them. (This cracks me up.)
- She loves to sing and dance, and she has the prettiest little voice I’ve ever heard.
- She loves to draw and paint, and she has made some of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen.
- She explodes with the exuberance of youth.
- She loves to laugh, and there’s no sweeter sound than that of her rolling on the floor with giggles.
- She is instinctively kind. She loves to give hugs, loves to share, and loves to make people smile.
Things I love about them both:
- They can be incurably silly – especially when they join forces.
I have no idea where they got this quality.