When I look at my children I'm always wondering what is going through their mind and what kind of thoughts are they having. Especially before they start to speak words clearly, how do thoughts form in their head. Is it spoken thoughts or shapes or do they think in their own little language.
I often catch my daughter's staring and internalizing me as I drive, dance, or while I'm in conversation with other people. Are they picking up on my specific quirks? It's an intriguing mystery to me as well as their developing personalities. For example, who do all kids run like the cartoons when they first start out. Amelia did the same thing at Amara's age and I have to wonder if all toddlers do it.
What possessed Amelia to stop in the middle of when we were playing a couple years ago to look me dead in my face and exclaim her love for me. Is it because she knew how low I felt for myself as a father at that present moment? Was it God? Or just her personality shining bright. What was on her mind at that exact moment where she told me that she loved me.
Going on two and a half she was still processing words and working on her ability to speak clearly. Those years is when the words come out as distorted noises accompanied by pointing to what they want hoping that we will understand them. This is the stage Amara is in, it's so cute, but what are they thinking when we are answering them with responses that aren't concurrent to their thoughts.
We talk back like we understand what they're saying and they keep talking as if we are actually having a conversation. Sometimes we can figure out with context clues, like when Amara says "that" and points to an object or a person and I know she wants to know more about it. Even in that, when I give my answer in layman terms do they even register what I'm talking about.
Similarly, while I watch kids movies with my daughters are they even grasping the meaning behind the movie or is it just animated characters running across the screen. Sometimes Amara is so engrossed in a movie then other times won't even watch it, and it's the same movie!
I really wish that I could be in a babies head to understand how they see the world, what is their point of view. One day I believe there will be a type of technology that will allow us to see all the fast moving neurons and atoms in their head. Children are amazing, and it's even better being a father raising them up from day one.
Now I understand the way my parents look at me because they knew me before I even knew myself. I used to take that saying with a grain of salt never thinking much of it until I had my own little ones, and as they get older I keep shaking my head because they grow so fast. Every week, every month, it's something new that they learned or can do. I remember when Amara started feeding herself, I thought that was amazing.
Being a first time dad with Amelia, I thought it was cool when she could first hold her own neck. I don't know about anybody else, but those first three months are the scariest for me. I fear their head rolling off their shoulders or a spinal injury because if I'm not careful their head can twist and turn in a multitude of ways. I'm also deathly scared of dropping babies period, especially Amara because she was so active in everybody's arms.
For the last two days Amara has been pulling me into her blow up octopus play pin and just sitting in here with me. There are times where we would play with a ball or she will bring a toy in but ultimately just wanting to me to sit with her. I'm currently writing this blog sitting upright with my back up against the octopus' big head. She'll grab my hand and drag me in here and sometimes just leave me while she goes plays elsewhere or cuddles up right next to me and sits in contentment.
I love it, and I get interrupted by her random kisses on my cheek. What did I do to deserve such beautiful blessings? I wonder if it's my reaction to when I get unprovoked kisses that makes her want to do it more or is it just the way she is wired? I think it's the reaction because she is the same with pain, I playfully claim she is crazy because she will inflict pain and laugh. It's the same with watching someone get hurt or make a mistake like dropping food on the floor.
What is with that? Right now she is watching Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, which she chose I might add, and is playing with the volume buttons. Is she learning that one increases the volume while the other decreases or does she like watching the icon pop up on the left of the screen. They made a joke that made me chuckle and she looked up at me and smiled, I have to wonder did she find it funny or was it my reaction.
There was a time with Amelia when I would wear glasses around she would get close to my face and lift my lenses up and down. When she would lift them out of the view of my eyes she'd say unrecognizable words then put it back down and speak something else. It was as if she was saying, " Can you see now? How about now?" I still reminisce on those days because they were so pure and joyful, nobody can take the memory away from me.
Amara and I were watching Kung Fu Panda 2 and I didn't know I would be getting so much from a children's movie. One line that stuck out to me was the old turtle telling the Panda that he shouldn't worry about the future or the past saying that "today is a gift that's why they call it a present." My eyes got wide at that remark, had me thinking about my last blog post and the importance of focusing on what is good.
Another proverb I truly enjoyed from the movie was to believe in yourself. There was this scroll that everyone wanted but only the true Dragon Warrior could read it, people fought and clawed over it but in the end it was just a mirror. We are all Dragon Warriors in our own right, we just have to look in ourselves and find what it takes to reach our dreams. A great lesson to learn especially when focused on a goal that can potentially change the trajectory of ones life.
As I'm watching Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs I notice some lessons in this movie as well, I really hope that they are somehow implanted into Amara's mind. I assume that's the point of them. I love my daughter's so much, there isn't anything or any length I wouldn't go for them. I believe that this phase in my life is almost done, I will be seeing Amelia soon.
Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you!