She brings me joy!
Yes, my daughter brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined. She is a wonderful child. Yes, she does give us problems but the joy she brings over shadows the grief infinitely - at times :)
She is now beginning to understand that she can't explain everything in words. So, what does she do to get us to understand? She pulls us to where she wants something done! I feel like a dog being pulled by my master. I say that laughingly but the thought did occur while I was being showed what she wanted and could not speak.
She is also showing more expressions. Like, I asked if she was going to eat the rest of her cookie, which she didn't have any interest in, and she looked at me like "ok, just take it dad - geez you are always wanting to eat my food". Well, I wasn't planning on eating it but since she gave it up - Ha, just kidding. I was wondering why she wouldn't finish her cookie off. She normally does.
Growing up I was asked to repeat my quirky sounds I make to demonstrate something in action. My step dad often would smile and ask "how does it go?" or "is that what it does?". I suppose that is still the boy in me! Well, now my daughter is picking up this habit as well. I explain something too her then make the noise to go along with it and she repeats the noise. It is funny to see. She also is mocking us at times when we say certain words. It seems to be when words are new or if she is doing one thing and listening to us which is about something else, she will then mock the last word of the sentanence.
She is also beginning to show preference for English. Not because she likes English more, but because her friends on TV speak English, IE Dora. We speak to her in Portuguese 99% and she understands quite of bit of Portuguese. Now that she is learning that words in her native tongue have a name in English and that her cool friends (Dora, Baby Einstein DVD, Go Diago Go, etc) speak those words too, she decides to go with the majority - HA, which is not us apparently. I was thinking about this over dinner how normally this behavior is noticed in early teens where kids want to do what their friends are doing - to the extreme level. I guess that is really not the case.
Regardless, I could have never imagined such a little thing without so much understanding of the world around her could every bring so much joy and many laughs throughout the day. There is so much preciousness between parent and child that it in itself is priceless. The moments my daughter kiss me on her own will or when she decides to give me her pillow during nap time because she knows daddy is not comfortable - money can't buy those emotions that her actions create. The other night when I put her down, I played this musical box type of thing like I always do. That night though I tapped on her foot to the rhythm of the music and within a few seconds she began to do the same - ever so lightly. How do I explain this, it was like she understood what I was doing (I was attempting to teach her about rhythm - but without explaining it) and showed she understood by doing it as well. To some of you that may seem all mushy gushy but to me - I would rather have one moment like that then anything that success could bring. To me, that one moment is success - but not defined or carved out by me or self but by both of us.
I love watching my wife and daughter interact. The smiles and facial expressions that come about while playing and being silly - there just isn't anything in the world that can take the place of this kind of happiness. And what strikes me just as strong is to know that God of all creation wants to be a Father to us. Why? Maybe the emotions and joy we feel from parenting are similar to what He feels as well. In Genesis it does read that He made us in their (Yes, it is plural. If that seems odd think about the trinity!) likeness meaning we are a reflection of some sort of God himself.
Many places in the Bible it talks a
bout God in a parent kind of light. I never really understood this parallel until I became a parent and now more than ever I have more appreciation for God's outlook on us - people on Earth. He really wants to be a Father to us. He has gone great lengths to make sure that we (the folks on Earth) know that. When I say great lengths I am talking about all His involvement since day one when Adam and Eve sinned. From the moment He garments to the last big thing, allowing His son to be our sin container - so we can be sin free in God's eyes.
I think if people in general could see, that indeed God does love them and knew what all has been done to make it possible for us to even have a hint or clue that He does love us - then most people would not put up a fight to commune with God. And, chances are our concept of love and many other things that make a society good, would be redefined and life would be a lot easier. It strikes me interesting that we still think our (folks on Earth) ways are better than God's. We seem to think that God can make mistakes or that He can't fix major problems like hunger, diseases etc. We have a lot to learn.
If He truly wants to be a father to us that means He always wants us to be a child to Him. That parent to child parallel comes out again. When you are a parent you learn real quick from day one (once child is born) you are everything to that child. That child truly depends on you to survive. That kind of relationship carries on for some time - years and even decades in some cases. My daughter, now two, at the first sign of something wrong runs to me as fast as she can saying "daddy daddy". The moment I hold her and say it is ok, she begins to feel safe. Strip that away from her - that security. I enjoy playing that role and she enjoys know that daddy is around. That is the same parallel I am talking about. God wants to be in that father and He wants us to be that child.
I have often thought what I would do if someone would take my daughter away (take her life) from me, out of their own will - purposely. Many times I instantly think I would kill that person. As my thoughts proceed though, I realize that I may not even have the chance to do that (not being there at that moment or myself be on a deathbed by that same person) and then it begins to sink in how suddenly my life, my source of joy, my very thing that defined me - would be gone and I would be left lifeless. What a sad thought and I try not to think about it much but, I am also real with myself and realize that these things to happen daily in this world. And, I would be greatly mistaking to think that "this would never happen to me".
Now that I have said all of that, I sometimes wonder if that is how God feels when he tries to Father us but we walk on doing our thing. Are we ripping His joy out of His life and making Him feel loss? I tend to think that is the case. Many of us think God is just an idea or something to explain away the existence of the universe and so on. But, what if He is like us, with person qualities but only He remains as a spirit?
Wouldn't it be a real shocker the moment you meet your Creator face to face and He shows you a timeline or a lifelong (there is plenty of time in eternity :) video where all the moments He made situations happen just to bring you closer to Him, like bring a friend into your life that would take you to church, or saved you from a car accident so you have more time to figure out life and realize the Creator loves you, or folks come a knocking at your door to share about Jesus - all of this just in hopes that you will understand that you are more than flesh but also of spirit and that you have a Father who is spirit as well - who wants to commune with you and share things that this world can't share with you. To have those moments I have described - priceless moments. That both parent and child cherish and will for all of their lives.
When we become parents suddenly the news about kids (bad and good) and things to be careful of are louder tha
n ever, highlighted in our minds and suddenly we realize that life is short. What if those kind of wonderful moments could last an eternity? Would you sign up to keep your special moments forever? The only thing I would ask God is, "Where do I sign up?".
I know this has been long but, this is what I enjoy - writing about life and experiences and I hope you find this useful for your journey in this world.