Wednesday, July 19, 2006

One of the delights of being a parent of a six year old is watching the puppy-like and unabashed enthusiasm with which they greet everyday life.

"Tacos for dinner? Hurray!"

"I can watch another TV show?!" Thankyoudaddy! THANK YOU!"

We took Daisy to see Cars a couple weeks ago. This is easily the worst of the Pixar movies (which still makes it a lot better than 90% of the other "kids" fare out there), but I don't think Daisy has ever seen a movie that didn't thrill her. When the lead car in the movie took the lead in the final race, Daisy was unable to control herself. She shot her arms in air, screeched with delight, and bounced up and down in her seat. She couldn't have been more excited had she won the race herself.

This weekend I took Daisy to a friend's house. He had recently set up a 3-foot deep kiddie pool for his 4 year-old son. Daisy splashed in that thing like it was the first water she had ever seen. The next two hours were an ear-splitting chorus of:

"Look at me!"
"DAAAAADDY! I'm swimming!"
"I'm a demeeeeentor.... I'm doing the huuuuula!"

That's what three freakin' feet of water does to her. What's going to happen the first time she has caffeine? She may explode.

So, I'm wondering, when does this end? How much longer do I have to be greeted with excited hugs when I bring home gum from the grocery store? When do they become jaded? If the answer is teenage-hood, then I can accept that. If the answer is 7, then I'm sad.


Anonymous said...

I like stories about you with your daughter. Thanks for sharing Mikey!

Velvet Sacks said...

Enjoy these wonderful years. In my experience, it's a gradual change until they reach about 12, then there's an abrupt shift. When she's 14, you and Hank will suddenly become unhip and too stupid to be believed. If you so much as look at her, her eyes will roll. I think God makes them like this on purpose, so we'll be willing to let them go when it's time. And then, when she's 19 or 20, she'll recognize you as the best parents in the world--just like you've been all along.

zelda1 said...

You will have a few more years of this eager and happy little girl. I might add that even though they go through this metamorphosis at around twelve, they, on occasion, return to that seven year old little girl at times when they forget that it isn't cool to jump up and down with excitement. One example is when they learn to drive, oh yeah, big time hurry up, oh I just can't wait, oh man, Daddy hurry up. Or, when they dress up for a formal ocassion that very first time. One minute they are these beautiful almost grown women, and the next they are running down the stairs jumping into your arms. Then there will be other times, even when they are grown, like telling you about the one they are going to spend their life with ect. I remember when my first grandson was born and my daughter was lying on the bed and they had just put the baby on her belly, he was still attached via the cord and she was gently touching his head and she looked at me and said, Mama, look at him. Just look at him. Now, it's not quiet the same as, Mama watch me jump, or Mama, did you see that. It's one of those times that your heart will just about burst. Yep, I'm here to tell you, when you lose that unabashed eagerness of childhood, and watch that metamorphosis of puberty to adulthood, there are still going to be moments that bring tears of great joy. I took my son, who is almost 30 and my two grandsons to the river to swim and all three of those boys yelled almost constantly. It was either, Mama did you see that, or Nan watch. It will always be there, that wanting validation from Mama and Daddy, so while you enjoy it now, it will never completely go away. Whew, that took me way to long to say.

Mike said...

Hi Anon, thanks for the comment. Get a blog and share with us, por favor.

VS, 12, eh? Ok, I can live with that answer. Still gives me a lot of good years ahead.

Zelda1, you do write long comments, but they're good. Thanks!

nrd2 said...

well, that reminded of two things. one, that you used to say i was a terrible influence on amanda, part of which was from baking brownies for breakfast on sundays. (i guess the other part was from just being _me_.) and when i took amanda to her first concert (age 16), dave matthews band, she didn't want me to look like i knew her until we were crossing a dark spot to get to the parking lot and she put her arm through mine because she was scared. she's still (at age 20) going back and forth from 5 to 25. she did say yesterday that she loves home!

carey said...

Yeah, my guess would be about 12, but I think kids vary so much...she might go on thinking you're her hero for years. I did, of my father.

Painter Beach Girl said...

I'm glad I can look forward to something, when my kids get to be 6 (they are 3 and 5 now) and have them a little more excited about certain things. I do find that if I act excited about say, dusting the house or pulling up weeds, they get equally excited, not knowing that the chore is actually a bore...

Janelle Renee said...

Mike, your post was sweet and tender. Awww I thought and then... Zelda, your comment sent me over to the wet eye stage.

Thanks, guys!


Mike said...

Carey, oh hell, I have no illusion that I'm her hero. That's probably Harry Potter, Hermione, or maybe Levar Burton. I just want her to keep her wide-eyed enthusiasm for as long as possible.

PBG, I was never able to fool Daisy into thinking that chores were fun, but I can report that six year olds are more than 3 or 5s.

JR, toughen up!

Mike said...

Nrd2, I almost forgot to reply to you! Yes, there's a world of difference between nutritious chocolate chip pancakes and evil decadent brownies for dessert. There's no doubt in my mind that you're a bad influence on her.

Tasty said...

Nicely done, Mike. Also, all the commenters. Just so you know, I'm nearly 37, and I sometimes call my dad to tell him something only he and I would find hilarious. I also jump up and down (gently) and squeal with delight when the Christmas tree goes up or other such things.

Mike said...

Tasty, ok, well if Daisy turns into a sullen and unenthusiastic child, I'll adopt you. I'm a little older than you, so that's cool.