There is a certain kind of magic in being a parent. While there are those giant milestones like baby’s first words, or those first steps, there thousands of other moments, big and small, that are just pure joy for a parenting willing and ready to accept them.
The other night, my family went to see a Disney on Ice show. We had good seats in the second tier. As expected, my youngest excitedly pointed out elements of the show he recognized, from various Disney characters to animals and shapes that he knew.
Sometime after intermission he abandoned his seat and climbed into my lap to watch the show from the comfort of dad’s arms. This all adds up to a pretty great night on its own, but the best was yet to come.
During the third act, I noticed that he stopped tracking the action on the ice. Instead, his slightly puzzled gaze was following one of the beams of light. He tracked it to its source, a spotlight high along the wall above the seating. You could literally see him working it out as he tracked the light back to the ice and then reconfirmed its source. Then, by watching his little face I could almost hear the question pop into his head.
“I wonder if there are any lights on the other side.”
He swung his head around and sought out the spotlights on the other wall.
His attention returned to the show soon after and he never said or pointed at anything, but in those moments you could feel the magic of being a parent. It’s watching someone you love, someone so dear to you, experience the wonder and magic of the world in something that you yourself long ago forgot all about as just another mundane part of life.
It is these magical moments when your child discovers, learns, excites or accomplishes something that trigger every one of those good and happy emotions within you. It is these moments that make parenting worth more than most any other experience you can have.