My oldest daughter Lena is 19 months now. She goes to a very nice day care three times a week and she loves it. The advantage of day care is she has developed social skills and is learning words which we may not have thought of teaching her. The disadvantage of day care is that she seems to catch a viral infection (either respiratory or gastrointestinal) almost every 1-2 weeks.
Either I or my wife picks Lena from the day care between 5:30-6PM. Yesterday, the owner called my wife around 5pm and was concerned because Lena was vomiting. She had a similar episode few weeks ago and was diagnosed with “stomach flu”. She seemed to have the same infection again. She was so fatigued, she went to bed right away and woke up after 2 hours, but it was obvious she lacked energy.
I and my wife took her to bed again around 9:30PM. The plan was for me to sleep with her in our bed until she fell asleep, and then transfer her to her own bed. I put her in our bed, with her back against me and started to caress her hair. As my wife was leaving, she called her name. My wife couldn’t resist and she came into the bed and lied facing her. Now my wife and Lena have this routine of counting numbers from 1-10 until she falls asleep. As soon as my wife slept next to her, Lena said “I Wuv You” and started counting the numbers. By then, my wife was holding her hand and counting numbers with her. As I witnessed this, I started to cry silently. I wasn’t crying because my daughter was ill, or that I felt sorry for her. I cried because I had witnessed the most beautiful expression of pure love and trust. This was innocence in its purest form.
Of course, in the beginning, we all started like Lena. As we entered society, however, with time we realized not everyone is like our parents, not everyone has our best interest in mind, and some people are just downright mean! Slowly, we become cautious, and sometimes even paranoid, and the once mighty flame of pure love and trust becomes a mere flicker.
I then realized perhaps the only people we can ever maintain such a pure relationship are our children. It is a dangerous world out there: drugs are readily available, sex is easily obtainable, and God knows what else is out there. I think the only chance a parent has is for his/her children to trust and love them with as much purity as possible.
Believe me, your children will eventually forget what you bought them and what you didn’t, but they will not forget moments such as what I witnessed last night.
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