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Kids Teach Us About Love--And What Could Be More Important?

After giving my daughter, Zamirah, who is 3, a shower tonight, I couldn't find her towel, and gave her a "big people" towel instead. "Big people" is how we say "grown-up" in my house. After all, Zamirah has understood what "big" means for a long time, and size is the obvious difference between her and us grown-ups. And while grown-ups may not being growing "up" anymore, I'm not sure how I feel about the finality of that "grown." It may not be visually apparent, but most of us grown-ups are really still growing as people.

But I digress. When I gave her the towel, Zamirah said, "You gave me a big people towel because I love you, Daddy!" Perhaps the logic is a little strange, which makes it extra-memorable, but what really stands out is the last 4 words of that sentence. Zamirah seems to burst with love at moments like this. No matter what negative, tired thoughts are circling around my head like vultures, the brilliant smile that accompanies such an exclamation is infectious--and it seems like it's not of this world. So on a simple level a moment like this is a mood booster. But if I stop to think about it, it also has some deep lessons.

Without being aware of it, Zamirah is trying to teach me:

1. Don't be so serious.

2. Feel what you feel, and you can express that feeling.

3. Love is always accessible.

4. It is ok to be loved--in fact, it's far better than ok.

I teach Zamirah a lot of things, too, and I'm proud and happy that I am here to teach them to her. Some examples are:

1. Remember to share with your baby sister. She loves you and looks up to you.

2. When you brush your teeth, remember to brush the top, bottom, both sides, front and back.

3. Hilarious puns like "Lettuce think about it!"

4. Tea is delicious (or "tea-licious!") with milk (peppermint tea for her--no caffeine necessary)

But when comparing these lists, it seems pretty obvious that she is more in touch with what really matters in life. I think part of my job as Daddy is to not stifle that love, to learn from it, take it in, share it, nurture it, and remind her of it when she gets a little bigger and a little more caught up in those vultures. It's not always easy to access that love--I'm sure it came a lot more naturally to me when I was 3. But, being aware of the challenge makes me feel a little more confident that I am up for it.

Comments

From Shirley | On March 03, 2014 @08:14 am
i feel like i should be on this weitbse too. i led my aau team too nationals and we almost won haha im a 5'7 140lbs. point guard and i averaged 18 points. 7 assists. 7 rebounds 4 steals and 2 blocks at my nationals tournament. not too sounds cocky but i think thats pretty good right? haha but umm i just dont have any exposure really
From sandre feuerstein | On August 26, 2011 @02:18 pm
You have always given love to your loved ones.You are an incredible man.From the day you were born you were a tender loving person, with a golden heart/spreading joy where ever you go. Now your songs are spreading to people that do not know you but your essence..I couldn't be prouder of you . love grandma S
From Maggie Gottfried  | On August 25, 2011 @10:02 am
Just wanted to let you know I read your post and it brought tears to my eyes. I know what a wonderful man I am married to, I try to remember and appreciate it every day but with all we have going on, it is easy for us to take it somewhat for granted. But then moments like this one happen, u say something, I watch you with the girls/me when I'm not feeling so well or I forget to live in the moment, you write a blog, and all at once it hits me... I must be the luckiest woman to ever live to have found not only a great husband but a phenomenal dad and musician. Thank you for being here with us! If I live a million lives I hope every one of them brings me back to you. I love you!

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