Today we had a nice lunch date with our friends, Johny and Alyson from Laramie. As we were visiting, Johny asked a question that has had me thinking this afternoon: "What has been the best part of having Leo?"
So much comes to mind in answer to that question. I think what I said at the time was "seeing the world through his eyes." Which is pretty true - being a toddler and being new to America, it seems that so much of the world is new to him. Things I would never expect him to notice fascinate him and peak his curiostiy. It's fun to watch him study things or to see what amuses him.
I guess that answer was okay, but as I started thinking about all the other aspects of being a mommy and raising a child, I realized that there are so many bests. How can you possibly pick just one?
Some of my favorite things about having Leo have been the typical happy-go-lucky, daily-routine-type stuff. Like watching him eat when he gets food all over the place and does a happy dance when he really likes something. Or waking him up from his nap and cuddling with him for those few moments between sleepy and playful. Reading to him before bed at night when he will point to the book and pretend to read with me. Holding his hand and walking anywhere and everywhere - seeing that big grin on his face because he loves to walk so much. Giving him his bath. Putting on his shoes. Hearing him try new words or giggling or just plain babbling.
But in addition to all of that, more of my favorite things have been in the hard times. The times when he is crying and I am frustrated because I don't know why. I always learn something about him after these moments. Or the times when he has really needed me - like a major diaper blowout or the day he got sick and kept throwing up. Sure these times are challenging, but I feel so close to him when I'm able to help him through his struggles. I feel like I'm doing important work, taking care of him. These days have been some of the longest, hardest work days I have ever faced, but they have also been the most rewarding. There is really no best part to raising my son. I love it all. He's the best part. Of everything.