Last year I attended a Mindfulness therapy course – it taught me numerous things I needed to change and adopt in to my life – not least an ability to live in the moment and to take in my surroundings, minute-by-minute.
With these tools in mind I have slowly re-learnt how to appreciate all of the little things my daughter brings to my life every single day. I am not talking about the glorious holidays we have been on as a family, or the latest adventure to Peppa Pig World, no. I am talking about the tiny, often unnoticed-taken-for-granted moments with my daughter, I am present to, on a daily basis.
Here are my favourite moments my daughter brings to me – in no particular order:
- Tugging on my trousers; looking up at me, wanting to be picked up – A moment she has only just recently started. I would be washing up the dishes; a few minutes later I would hear her shuffle in to the kitchen with her slippers on. I would then feel her tiny hands touch my trouser leg, gently pulling them. Her beautiful face tilts back and up toward me; her small arms reaching out for me to pick her up. I gleefully accept her request and give her a beard full of washing-up liquid.
- Saying ‘Daddy’ – My daughter is nearly two, she says my name on a daily basis, and has been for quite some time now. I now hear her say my name with so many different tones and meanings – all as equal and as heart-warming as each other. (Mentioned below).
- Giggling and saying, ‘Daddeeeey’, when I tickle her armpits – We are often mucking about rough and tumbling on the floor, and when I get to tickle her armpits or her feet I absolutely adore the way she says my name when I am tickling her. ‘Daddeeey, Daddeeeey’ with a resulting out-of-control giggle and an in-vain attempt by her to escape my tickling hands. Until she says, ‘again’. Memorable.
- Smiles directly at me when she wakes up – If I am heading off to work and she has still yet to arise, I will always venture in to her room to simply look at her sleeping for a few seconds. On the odd occasion my courageous attempt at tip-toeing fails and she wakes. Her stunning peaceful eyes open; they look in to mine for a split second, and she smiles at me. The greatest start to a day for a Dad.
- Saying, ‘help’, when her leg gets stuck when she is on our garden slide – This one has more meaning. It is more of a realisation that I hope she can always turn to me if she needs help throughout her life. I am always there for her and on this occasion I was there to lift her leg from beneath her in order for her to travel down the slide.
- Saying, ‘hand’, and, ‘sit’, whilst pointing to a seat to tell me to play alongside her and her toys – Another recent addition to her ever growing personality. If I am sitting down or doing something that doesn’t involve my daughter, she will now walk over to me to say ‘hand’. She cutely reaches out for mine, grabs it with all her strength and drags me to where she wants me. With a firm tone she tells me to sit and points to where she wants me to park my bum. We play.
- During mealtimes she looks at both my Wife and I, and in turn, says, ‘MY mummy and MY daddy’ – An endearing and clear indication that she adores her parents and enjoys it when we are all together doing something as simple as eating a meal.
- When she says, ‘laps’, which is her hint to start running around the house – When she is in a fun mood she will want to do some toddler running. What better way than to run around the house. Once she says the word lap, you know she is going to expect you to run around the house with her. She will giggle, fall over, giggle some more and continue to say ‘lap’ until she decides to stop. Absolutely precious.
- Grabbing hold of me as hard as she can when someone she doesn’t know talks to her – Not an unusual one here, but nonetheless a moment when she can rely on me to make her feel safe and secure. It may be a friendly hello from a checkout lady in a supermarket or a family friend she is not familiar with, but either way, I am there for her to lean on if required. And when she does need me to lean on, boy do I feel her tense up and grab me.
- For clearly loving me – When she looks at me, you just know that she loves me. And I love her.