The Joy of Fatherhood: Watching Miracles

It’s absolutely amazing to me watching Isa grow and develop. I know that my awe for the way we as humans are programmed to learn, process and mature has multiplied exponentially in the almost two years since she invaded our lives. It’s both awe-inspiring and hilarious to watch her face and eyes as she thinks things through and connects dots in her brain. Since kids wear their thoughts and emotions on their sleeves, you can literally watch the lights go on as a concept suddenly clicks for them. As a parent, we get a front row seat in the true miracle of growth and development.

Recently, we have been able to talk and explain a lot more to Isa. Gretchen and I went on a shopping trip a few weeks ago and left the kids with my parents. We have realized that Isa does much better with new or different situations when she is given a warning of what is going to happen and how it will play out. We explained to her that we were going to leave them with grandma and grandpa, but that we would be right back. She may have already got the whole “right back” concept, but this was the first I observed it really click with her. Upon our return (I have no good things to say about the actual trip – Gretchen and I detest shopping), she repeatedly (everything is said REPEATEDLY these days…like, over and over and over…) said “mama, papa…right back.”

A couple of nights ago, I had a meeting in the evening and was not able to put Isa down to bed like I usually do. I explained to her that I needed to go to work (when I’m away, I’m at work in her mind), but that mama would give her milk, read to her and sing to her, and that I would be right back and see her in the morning. She was in her high chair and it was adorable watching her process this concept. Papa…go work…right back. She kept repeating this. It was a pretty long concept to string together, so she kept stumbling over her words, which even made her laugh. She was so intent as she tried to get the words out over and over.

She ended up going down perfectly and sleeping through the night. The next day, Bennett was crying a lot (not uncommon these days) and Gretchen told me that Isa was trying to comfort him by saying papa…work…right back.

I love that her experience so far has been one such that when we explain that we will be right back, she can count on it and has no doubt that it is true. It’s amazing how little things like that can begin to set a stage for how we view the world and life even as adults. I know that as a human, I cannot truly guarantee that I will be right back. There are variables out of my control. Nevertheless, her experience of dependability, predictability and stability are setting her up to understand that there are principles that we can live by that are predictable and reliable in their results. Hard work, sincerity, genuineness, a pursuit of truth and purity… these things will always produce good fruit in our lives in the long haul.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself here. Right now, I’m loving watching our Isa take comfort in right back.

Kids have so much to teach us about the simplicity of life and the awe of the things that we constantly take for granted. I’m thankful to experience this up close and personally.

Where are you experiencing awe with your kids?


This post is linked to Better Mom Mondays, Titus 2 Tuesdays

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