Time is flying way too fast around these parts. With fall in full swing and Jonathan entering toddlerhood, I catch myself wishing for this stage to never end. On the other hand, I can't wait until he is a little more independent and we are over the potty training (oh the joys of potty training). I'm definitely learning to enjoy my time with him more and just take in every moment with this curious, smart and energetic boy. Also, looking at life through eyes of the toddler makes me appreciate the simple, every day things that I would've taken for granted otherwise.
The wonder of an open book. Jonathan loves reading, and every time I have a minute to sit down he brings me a book (or asks for one). The pages come alive in his eyes as he learns and explores the familiar stories. It's the excitement and wonder in his eyes that make me stop and enjoy the story with him. He never tires of it and is always ready to listen while intently studying the pictures. He will sit down and imitate reading while flipping through the pages by himself. It's the most adorable thing ever.
The beauty of nature. There are things that he finds in our yard that I didn't even know were there. Being outside, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine is his other favorite thing to do. Either it's taking a walk through his grandmother's garden or swinging in the park, it's always so joyful and exciting. He doesn't care if it's sunshine or rain, there is plenty to discover and learn. The outside world is always exciting and never boring.
Unconditional love. No one loves as unconditionally and freely like toddlers. They don't hold grudges, they don't remind of old mistakes and forgive very fast. They really put the meaning of unconditional love in our lives and undeniably receive it in return. Children (and especially toddlers) love us with all our faults and mistakes, they accept us for who we are and perhaps that's why they are the most fun bunch around.
Our own parents. Living with a child and experiencing all the day-to-day difficulties and joys makes us appreciate our own parents even more. All the cooking, cleaning and teaching our mothers did for years now seem so real and personal. It takes a lot of effort to keep a toddler out of harm's way, and at the end of the day, I am exhausted just by doing simple household tasks. After I had Jonathan, I understood all the work my mother put into me and appreciate it a lot more.
The value of a family. Children really bring life to a family and make the home come alive. Sure we were happy and satisfied as a couple before but now, it's just a lot of fun. Every single day. It brings my husband and I closer knowing that we are in this together and that we are a family. Life without children seems dull, and with addition of just one (so far) in our lives, we have experienced so much joy and fulfillment it's hard to describe it. Children bring extended family closer, they make us drop our guard and open our hearts to each other, because, really, nothing out there is more valuable than family.