Until you walk in the door from a long day, and his little arms fly up in the air in greeting and a huge drooly smile spreads across the infant's face he's just so happy to see you.
And it just keeps getting better. From smiling to walking to talking. I've always thought that each phase of a child's life is better than the last -- more miraculous, more fun.
Even now, when I walk in the door from a long day and I'm greeted with something closer to a snarl and a grunt from the gangly adolescent. I'm awestruck that I created this, and that everything is working the way nature intended. He's supposed to be drawing away from me at this age, in preparation for the day he's out on his own. Isn't that cool?
When I recently interviewed Maria Bailey, of Mom Talk Radio and BlueSuitMom.com, she said she hears from lots of moms who don't think like I do, who don't think each stage is better than the last.
Maria loves the teen years -- she has three teens and an 11-year-old. "I love it when they make good decisions," she said. And she loves to see how she has rubbed off on them.
I, too, like to watch my kids figure things out, learn from their mistakes, develop into their own personality. That's what's so much fun.
They toddle and fall, pick themselves back up to try again, and soon they are running out the door to play. They babble and imitate to form words and soon they talking back with their own opinions, however illogical and hasty they may be.
No doubt some stages are less complicated than others. As I recall, age 3 is...hard. And my daughter, at age 11, is so easy, I wouldn't mind stretching that out awhile.
What about you? Do you have a favorite stage in your child's life? Or are you really looking forward to age 16?