What’s the very best thing about having a child (or children) in your life?

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The Superhooper family!
The Superhooper family!

We know you love the kids you’re raising and/or taking care of — our archives are filled with stories about the joys of breastfeeding, the indescribable wonders of adoption, the incredible ways families are being created, tales from parents of teens who share interests, and so many wonderful birth stories it’d take you days to get through them all.

I thought it would be really fun (and possibly quite emotional, in a good way) to get all musey and lovey about how being a parent, caregiver, or positive influence in the life of a child (or children) is a truly incredible experience.

You guys ready? Let’s do this Open Thread style! What do you absolutely love about parenting or knowing the kids in your life — and what positivity have they brought into yours? This is for everyone — parents, aunties, uncles, grand-parents, Child-Free friends, baby-sitters, nannies, tutors, and so on. ALL Y’ALL.

And don’t worry, I’ll be holding hands and handing out virtual tissues all day long. This is all about FEELINGS!

Comments on What’s the very best thing about having a child (or children) in your life?

  1. The hugs. Without a shadow of a doubt, for me it’s the hugs. When I walk in the door and see my boys run to me, desperate to give me a hug before going back to their monster trucks, it’s worth more than gold to me.

    • A hard day followed up by “Can Mama have a hug?” and my toddler drops whatever he’s doing, does his “crazy run” over to me, and wraps his little arms around my neck, rests his head on my shoulder, and PATS MY BACK while babbling to me in a soft voice. Squeezes my heart like an accordian every single time!

      • Absolutely the best. Every day I walk in the door after work and peek around the corner to watch my 2yr old for a minute, I like to see what he and my fiancee are doing when they think no one’s watching! After a minute one of the dogs usually spots me and then so does my little guy. I can’t even begin to describe how great it feels when he says “mommy!!!” and runs over to me.
        Also, the next best thing about my son is seeing him learn more and mroe each day, watching as he tries to figure something out by himself. For weeks he could try and try and not get it. Then all of a sudden one day he figures it out, and then wouldn’t ya know it he’s a pro. Then on to the next learning opportunity. It’s amazing. Same with talking. One day he only knows “no”, then sooner than you think he tells me “no thank you Mommy”. When the heck did that happen?! Its wonderful

  2. Watching my toddler develop and learn to express his personality over the last year and a half has been ASTONISHING. It is seriously the most fun thing ever to watch him laugh at crazy things, dance, and throw himself around like a tiny gymnast. I love being surprised when he learns new things, and I love how true to himself he is.

    I REALLY can’t wait for the phase when he starts telling me crazy stories and asking super weird questions. I think that the way kids’ brains work is just remarkable and endlessly entertaining.

    • I agree with the weird stories, heh. I don’t have kids of my own, yet, but I work with kids teaching outdoor education. I have heard some crazy stuff, and I’m always amazed by what good and creative ideas they have. I also love their no-filter brains, and how they say exactly what is on their minds.

  3. I find that watching my son learn is just stunning. There’s something about seeing it happen on the outside, without really knowing how the process is happening inside, that blows my mind,

    He has a kind and beautiful imagination, and being a part of his play just rocks outloud.

  4. I am currently 36 weeks pregnant so we haven’t gotten to meet our little one yet. But throughout the pregnancy, I have gotten so much joy out of feeling the baby move inside me. Currently, I’m huge, my feet are swollen to three times their normal size, I’m fighting a head cold and every time I cough I pee, I have hemorrhoids, heartburn and I’m sleeping an average of about 2-4 hours a night. I didn’t expect to be overly sentimental about pregnancy and for the most part, I’m not. But sappy though it may sound, every single bit of that is worth it when I see my stomach twitch or feel my baby’s hiccups.

    • I have to admit even enjoying the really weird, alien movements where my stomach looks like something is about to burst out of it. I AM a bit concerned that she’s already hyperactive, at 33 weeks of age.

      • No worries! My midwife assured me that the only common trait between a very active fetus and her two year-old self is good health!

        You could see my belly move from across the room, but since birth my son has mostly been quiet and attentive (8 months now), and never sick.

    • I’m at 24 weeks with my first baby and having my hubby lay in bed with me to feel the little rolls and kicks is beyond magical. It’s like this secret language that we share in silence. I also LOVE that his waking up movements in the morning are different than his regular kicks and spins. It’s like this tiny little shudder that just leaves me in breathless awe πŸ™‚

  5. I’m a nanny and a (soon-to-be) stepmama, and kisses are the very bestest thing about children. Smooching my boy’s cheek or teaching my nannybabies to blow me kisses. …There is no better expression of love than the kiss.

    • Agreed. Giving and getting kisses is my absolute favorite. Now my pre-schooler will randomly grab a part of me and give me a kiss. It makes my heart melt every single time.

  6. Oh goodness, so many things to choose from! I don’t have any kids yet, but I basically helped raise my youngest brother, and I’ve been blessed to be a part of my nephew’s life, so there are a lot of experiences that make me think “Yes, this is why I love kids!”.

    One thing I love is when they just wanna cuddle. When my brother was a baby he wanted to cuddle all the time, but as he got older you could just not keep him still for more than like 5 seconds, he was too excited about life to sit still! But every once in awhile he’d climb into my lap and just give me some little kid love and I’d be like OMG YOU’RE MELTING MY HEART!!!

    My nephew is the same way (hyperactive with a side of I LOVE YOU!!). What I really love about watching him grow up is how much he LOVES to try new things, and loves to play. If you let him, he won’t stop showing you all his toys and asking you to read all his books to him. Also, he’s potty training, and the kid basically requests that you put him on the toilet so he can read his elmo book and feel like a Big Boy. I tell ya, pooping has never been so cute. πŸ˜›

  7. Not to barf cliche rainbows all over everyone’s feet but… being a mom makes me feel like my life finally has a purpose! And giving my little man all the love he needs is more important than any selfish thing I did pre-mommy.

    Also, it’s pretty awesome having a built-in scapegoat for any situation! “Oh, sorry… I can’t help you move because the baby is napping.” πŸ˜‰

    • I’m not a parent, but I definitely wanted to second the “kids make me feel like I have a purpose”. As odd as it sounds, my favorite thing about kids is getting to change a little one’s diaper. It was the first care taking thing people taught me to do when I was seven and my niece was born, and it made me feel important and grown up. Sixteen years later (still cannot believe that my niece is sixteen!), and I still feel like my life has a purpose – a good purpose – every time I do something for an infant that they can’t do for themselves. You have this tiny little being and they are completely dependent on you for even simple things, and it’s kind of mind blowing.

  8. Honestly, I just love it when my son falls asleep in my arms…so peaceful, such trust. He just knows I’m going to take care of him. Wow. What an honor.

  9. Hearing her laugh. I will do anything for that sound.

    Also, naked toddlers wobbling around with big bellies make me smile πŸ™‚

    • My favorite video ever of my son involves him walking around in a diaper getting ready for bed. His fat little legs make me squee every time.

  10. Omigosh… just thought of a HUGE favorite thing: Teaching my 13-month-old son new tricks! For example, his latest trick is when I ask him “What does Darth Vader say?” and he starts heavy breathing. SO DAMN CUTE!

    • That is brilliant. I am trying to teach my son to call his blankie “my precious” for similar reasons.

    • Love this! I’ve just taught my 15 month old since reading this. He has a round of what does the …. say noises, and the last one is always “What does the performing seal say?” (claps and barks) Cracks me up each and every time.

  11. I’ve loved seeing my cousin’s kids develop their personalities and seeing their fascination in things that I once did (and still do!).

  12. It’s so astounding to see this human being discover the world for the first time. I don’t remember my first experience of rain, but I remember my daughters. She has opened my eyes up to the little things – perfect contentment to simply be around her parents, fascination with colors and textures, sheer joy at accomplishing something that we’ve learned to take for granted. I now strive to be the best me, because if I am the best me and my husband is the best him, that’s how she will learn to be the best her.

  13. I love being a Mom even more than I thought possible! I love when my son wants to snuggle. I love it when we wake up together in his bed after a rough night of teething. I love when he laughs hysterically, when he runs around naked and when he picks up the cat. Watching him learn about the world is awesome and often changes my own perspective. Now I’m pregnant again and sometimes my son will pet my still small tummy and say “baby belly” oh god, I’m meellllltinnng! I am really looking forward to all these moments times TWO!

    My husband and I have always had a fantastic relationship but now with kids I feel like we are on the same team too! Team parents: talking through rough spots and making tough decisions for our family. I also just adore watching this man I love so deeply love and dote upon OUR beloved son.

  14. My daughter is almost 7 going on 17 and my favorite time every day is bedtime, because that is when she actually wants to snuggle with me and we read together. We snuggle and hug, and she’s at that age I guess where it is the only time I get kisses now and rub noses. It’s my favorite thing in this world. That and her laugh. The other things I love are seeing her little achievements. I cry at almost every event that she sings at or when she is in a play or a dance recital.

  15. My two year old has such a great memory. Its amazing when Im reading her a poem out of her favorite poem book and she is saying the lines before I even get there. The first time I was blown away! Yesterday, when we were on our bike riding to school she was singing Jingle Bells. “Hey!” Apparently she had learned it at preschool the day before! I love how quick she is! And i love learning what interests she has (spiderman, owls, the moon). And I love how insanely proud of her i am.

  16. Fishy kisses. My son makes the fish lips and then at the end of the kiss he does a big “mwa” sound and giggles. He just makes me world and he’s so funny. Knowing that he is my little person and he’s stuck with me and I get to have these kinds of moments with him is just mind blowing.

  17. The random moments of affection! The hugs, kisses and “I love you”‘s I get from my son.
    At least once a day, my son will come over to me, wrap his arms around my waist and tell me I’m his favorite mommy and he loves me. Without fail, every day, it brings tears to my eyes.
    And watching him sleep.. I sneak into his room every night just to watch him in a peaceful moment. He’s almost 4 and I think I’ve not watched him maybe 15 days of his whole life!
    I also love hearing my husband teaching our son how to speak Wookie!

  18. My favorite things about kiddos:

    -Watching my son be proud of himself. His face shines with pride when he does something for the first time or does something he (or someone else) didn’t think he could do. It is awesome to watch especially consider everything he’s had to over come medically and developmentally. I hope he never looses that sense of pride in himself.

    -Weekend mornings! Every Saturday morning my husband will go into our twins room grab them from their cribs and bring them into our bed for breakfast. We spend the next hour or so laughing as we watch them giggle and jump on the bed. Our babies spent a long time in the hospital after they were born. Every night when we’d leave the NICU my husband would say “it’s only a matter of time before we can pick them up when ever we want and play with them in our own bed.”

    -Also, fishy faces. Who doesn’t love toddlers making fishy faces.

  19. I’m helping raise my one-year-old niece. I love when, totally out of the blue, she runs and jumps in to my arms, gives me kisses and squeals, “Love you, Nunnuh! (her special name for me)”

  20. My step boy can still be a bit cautious around me so its great when he chooses to grab my hand or asks me to carry him instead of his dad. Its still rare and it makes me melt everytime. Step parenting has been so hard for me and I’ve had to face some huge demons along the way, but I know its worth it

  21. I value the hugs and kisses from my daughter higher than anything. Also any phone calls I get from her wanting to tell me about something awesome she did or saw. and that she herself will say she has 2 mommies and a daddy. adoption is a hard things but knowing her is worth the emotional roller coaster.

    As for as other kids in my life, I love when they are learning new words and still can’t pronounce them correctly. “Miss Chesty, I’m fishy” = “Miss Jessie, I’m thirsty”. Also when you enter the room they are in, they get all excited and shout your name. okay now I need to go find a kid to squeeze..

  22. When my 18 month old daughter shows me off to people she just meets.

    She gets shy and then points to me, runs over and hugs my legs, and says to them “My mom!”

    It’s seriously the cutest thing ever and validates all my parenting worries!

  23. While I love it when Tavi is enthusiastic about one of my interests (like dancing together!), I also love that he’s starting to introduce me to HIS interests. I feel like it’s setting up a dynamic that will result in awesome music and book recommendations circa 2030.

  24. I love when my son comes up with some statement out of the blue, like correctly identifying some animal when we know we have never told him about it before, or correcting us when we use a “kiddy” term for an item he knows the proper words for. Once he even sang the words to a song my husband was humming. We never knew he was paying so much attention to the world around him! He’s like a little sponge, and it’s great to see him pick out the items that HE finds interesting from his every day life and claim them for his own.

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