There are times as a parent that I've watched my son with pride from afar and thought, "wow... that's my son." I am moved when I see him give his favorite bunny a hug and kiss and exclaim, "Aww Bunny! I MISSED you!" I smile when he reaches into the cookie jar, brings two cookies, and asks, "Need one Mommy?"
Recently we were at a birthday party for our friend's little girl. Luc spotted a platter of brownies on the buffet table. With a party toy in one hand he stood up on his toes to inspect the selection. A friend and I sat back and watched the three-year-old consider his plan of action.
Luc came over to me and placed the party favor in my lap. He walked back to the buffet table but didn't go to the brownies; instead, he went towards a stack of napkins. He reached for the napkin and mistakenly got 2 instead of one. Very patiently, his clumsy toddler fingers finally separated the two napkins. Then, slowly and deliberately he unfolded the napkin and laid it in his palm. He gingerly moved his way towards the brownies balancing the open napkin in his palm and proceeded to pick up the brownie using the napkin. My friend and I were shocked! A 3-year-old boy took it upon himself to make sure as to not touch all the brownies with his hands: he chose to use a napkin. I was filled with pride.
As Luc ate his brownie I saw him still reviewing the platter of brownies on the table. As he ate the brownie in his hand he wondered whether one of the other brownies might be better. And just as I began to feel that truly, I was an exceptional parent, he took his half-eaten-saliva-coated brownie and put it back on the platter with the others and began to grab another...
2001, Claudine M. Jalajas