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. Listening to endless variations of stories involving robots, cats and outerspace risght before we all fall asleep. I am in awe of my son’s imagination and creativity. He makes me excited for the future.

  2. Listening to endless variations of stories involving robots, cats and outerspace right before we all fall asleep. I am in awe of my son’s imagination and creativity. He makes me excited for the future.

  3. I would just like to give thanks for this post. I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my first, have been in the hospital for 5 weeks (for a potentially disasterous labor-related complication), and get to meet our little girl next week after a hopefully successful c-section. Being stuck in the hospital for so long and dealing with worry, boredom, resentment, fear, and all that great stuff, it’s been hard sometimes to remember the excitement that comes along with having a baby. Your posts have reminded me of why i’m so, so looking forward to meeting our child and seeing the world through her eyes as she learns and grows. Thanks for giving me a little strength to get through this last week and beyond!

  4. Seeing my 8 month old daughter figure out something new amazes me. Recently she started trying to play with the dog by waving his toy around, imitating how she’s seen her dad play with the dog. When the dog finally grabs the other end, she laughs hysterically.

  5. As most people have already mentioned, just watching my daughter figure out the world. At 2 months old it is so cool to have just heard her laugh for the first time or try to have control over her hands and try to grab something. Babies are such interesting little creatures.

  6. For me, having my son helped me realize that there was something “bigger” — of course, I cared about the world and other people and recognized the bigness of life, but the “bigger” with him was he enabled me to finally be vulnerable. To open myself up to the world in a way that I hadn’t in my life before him. I was too scared and selfish before to commit myself to lasting, meaningful relationships, but the relationship with him (and he’s only two) radiates out and has helped me be a better friend, new wife, and person. It’s pretty awesome. Suddenly, my actions and self-image don’t just affect me anymore but influence my son and his vision of the world. He’s made me think a lot more about my values, beliefs, and the kind of person I want to be.

  7. On a day where I am really struggling as a mom, this thread lifted me up. I love to teach her. I love to step back and watch her explore. Her first words. Steps. The first feel of a leaf. Her first time running in the rain. She is so beautiful even as she lays next to me sighing the sweet sighs of sleep.

  8. For me; it’s all about how interesting they are. They’re these wonderful, creative, clever, loving, beautiful, independent, little people with their own interests, preferences, beliefs and talents. They are just so cool!

  9. Um so far…
    I love it when little m giggles, babbles, says mama and looks at me, squeals in delight, bounces in her exersaucer without a care in the world, put her head on her daddy’s shoulder everytime she’s sleepy, lets me braid her little tuff of hair as long as she gets to play with the comb and brush, and as of yesterday, discovered her shadow and kept crawling to the sunlight on the carpet to touch it.


  10. Watching her grow and learn, all the first and not just the milestones. The first time she gave me a cuddle just cos, the first time she shared her cookie with a friend, the first time she came and rubbed my back cos I was upset, the first time she fully got excited when she heard the keys in the door as daddy got home, the first time she unprompted said please or thank you, the first time she asks for something she hasn’t before or compiles a new sentence. When she randomly comes out with something she has picked up herself or names something she hasn’t before, the look in her eyes of pure pride when she works something out for the first time. I <3 watching this baby girl turn into a little girl 😀

  11. I have always been drawn to babies and children, but as I got older and the prospect of having my own dwindled I found myself hardening toward them. I had basically made up my mind that children were not in my cards and went on trying to enjoy my carefree adult life.
    Now, I’m a mom. I love waking up to her snuggled in my arms. I love the open mouth slobbery kisses. I love watching her play and interact with her simple world. But most of all I LOVE that she has made me a better person. Now, I can’t imagine my life without her!

  12. Children are the truest reflection of who WE are at our core. I feel positively joyful when my 18 year old son attributes his respect of women and compassion to the example that I set. I raised him as a single parent: at times the struggle was overwhelming and I worried constantly about not having enough emotional resources to parent. He reminds me that children can see and learn from us even when we aren’t “teaching”.

  13. The way my son brings out the soft, sentimental side of my husband. My husband is not a gusher, and before our baby was born, was apprehensive about not being able to show his love for his son. That doesn’t seem to be a problem now, when out of the blue he’ll just look at our son and say “I love you.”

  14. My kids teach me how to love, really love. Kids love unconditionally, without any ulterior motives, no expectations, they just love. Even when I screw up (which happens more than I’d like to admit) my kids still love me. Being a mom to my kids has helped me learn how to love others they way they love me.

  15. Oh, there’s so, so many things to love about being a parent. And this is coming from a girl who said from ages 10 – 25 that I didn’t want kids. I have the most beautiful, strong, amazing 5 month old daughter now.

    First, her smile. She lights up the room, especially when she sees me or her daddy.

    Second, her blue eyes. My dad died about 3 months before I got unexpectedly pregnant and it was so very hard knowing that my daughter would never know him. The most amazing thing happened and she has his gorgeous blue eyes, so in a way, I get to see him daily in her.

    I also had a rough time growing up with awful self-esteem. I like knowing that I can work to help prevent that happening to my daughter…and have a little retribution myself. I don’t think she’ll need much help because, even at 5 months, her little personality is so awesome.

  16. I am not a parent, yet. But I have 13 nieces and nephews from age 3 to 23 (I am 27). From the littles, I love the random hugs and I love yous’ and I missed yous’ even though they just saw me. Freaking melts me everytime, like a puddle of Aunt Becky at their feet. And when they learn something new, the excitement they get when they want to show you. And of course the mimicking (currently teaching my 3 year old nephew movie quotes and freaking loving how he remembers it all and busts them out at the most hillarious times – beats you in game, he bends over, points at his butt and yells “FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS!!!” from the movie Brave)

    But my older ones, I just love hanging out with them and talking with them. My oldest niece who is 20, we talk like friends and get to recommend movies, books, music and food carts to each other. You wouldn’t think I was her aunt. The teens, I love being with them as they discover who they are and what they like. I love taking my 3 teenage nieces to book signings and camping. And I love it when they exclaim “YES! FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS! Why can’t our parents get that…(this was about how we all need more bookshelves cause yes we NEED all these books plus more). Yep, I get to be the cool aunt and a big part of their lives. There is just so much you get to see through their eyes that makes you happy that they are a part of your world.

  17. I’m a teacher, and the best thing is seeing the moment when a kid first “gets it,” the moment when things click and it makes sense to them.

    I’m also an aunt to an amazing preschooler, and the best thing about that is when he tries to talk to me like an adult. I see him about once a month, and he says things like, “So, Aunt Lauren, how is Maggie doing these days?” Maggie is my cat. So adorable.

    Finally, I might be pregnant right now (taking the test this week!!) and the best thing about that is fantasizing with my husband about our future child.

  18. My almost 1 year old daughter likes to gather all of the books in sight and sit on the floor, flip through the pages, and “read” aloud to herself. I melt every time. I’m so proud of my bookworm!

  19. My dad is currently in a hospice, having battled cancer, unsuccessfully, for a year. I really don’t know how i would have gotten through these last few days without my nieces. Their energy, their playfulness – their intuition (“are you sad because grandad’s poorly? It’s ok to be sad” – said the 4 year old!!) They represent life to me, their outlook is just beautiful – and being around them makes me a better and more contented person.

  20. My son is 12 weeks old, and I LOVE when he wants to snuggle. Not just be held, but when he lays his head down on my chest and grips my shirt and just stares straight ahead like “this is where I feel safe and comfortable”. Kills me. And that smile when he first wakes up in the morning and sees me.

    My nephew is just over a year, and I love when he tries to make people laugh or say “aw”. He’ll realize people find something funny or cute, and proceed to repeat it dozens of times, glancing to make sure everyone is still reacting. My son gets 900 kisses every time he sees him because we all still coo about it.

    Or my much-younger-but-teenagers-now siblings, when they’ll randomly bring up that lullaby I used to sing them, or that movie day when they were sick. I don’t regret missing out on all my free time in high school anymore, because they’re like my own kids in some ways.

    And about a million other things.

  21. I don’t have kids yet. But I work in a toy store, and have a 9 month old niece.
    At work, best thing is listening to the toddlers tell me all about the toy that they have so proudly picked out, and are carrying around with them. They’re always so full of excitement and pride! The most entertaining part is how they’ll just come up to me and start talking about it – without any prompting from me or their parents.
    In my nieces case – it’s seeing her learning new things every day, and always taking everything in with such a large attention span (I hope my kids are that patient!!) – and then there’s the sheer delight she can get from the simplest of things – my sister-in-laws mother-in-law posted a video of her, and in the background you can hear her grandpa clapping, and she’s totally excited by it, cooing at the top of her lungs, and trying to imitate him – and when she figures it out, she’s obviously excited that she’s learned something new!

  22. My son is five days old today and the best thing so far is watching the beginnings of his personality show through already. I have no doubt he will keep reminding me in a million ways over the next years that, although my husband and I made him and will influence him, he is his own, unique, amazing little person.

    Also when he snuffles around my neck when I’m carrying him over my shoulder. 🙂

  23. I think the best thing about having my daughter in my life is how much she’s taught me about being a better person.

    That and watching her learn to make more and more “grown-up” decisions and just constantly admiring her for her courage and integrity. She’s entering the pre-teen years and it’s so cool to watch her figure things out and apply logic and reason and the principles of right and wrong.

    She’s a badass kid, and that’s the best part, for me. 🙂

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