Updated: Oct 28, 2021
My youngest child is a precocious two year old boy. He is bright, silly, sensitive, funny, mischievous & incredibly loving. He loves to love and be loved. In our home, there’s no shortage of affection. My wife and I typically have opposite work schedules so our goal is to make sure the kids get enough quality time with us both. We make it a priority to have a family day at least once a week. I didn’t have a traditional childhood (more on that another time) so for me, I try to be sensitive to their needs.
When my daughter was born, I was young, in college and completely unprepared for the responsibility of raising a child. Of course I had the essentials down, but nothing can prepare you for the changes which come with parenthood. With my daughter, when she was a toddler, I was just finding my footing... still unsure, still learning, still adjusting to fatherhood. I was learning from her — how to comfort her, what her emotional triggers were, when she needed something, how to be vulnerable.
With my son, who’s in full on toddler mode, I’m still learning. As I’m traveling this road with both of my children, I’m discovering they have very different needs. While similar, they’re not the same. It forces me to be honest with myself and admit that I don’t know everything! One size does not fit all. My toddler teaches me every day — how to pay attention, how to be in the moment, how to open my heart in new ways to the joy of fatherhood. I’m more cognizant of the need I have to break generational curses so my children don’t carry the burden of things which they have no understanding. More importantly, I’m learning to forgive myself when I’m not the perfect parent and teaching my children the lessons they don’t even know they’re teaching me.
When we stop for a moment and take it all in — I’m convinced that our toddlers know far more than we give them credit for. When we quiet the outside noise and take the time to just “be” — all of us are better because of it.