I Like Children
I like the way they're always full of surprises...how they have a mind of their own from the very beginning and arrive just in time to be two weeks late. I like the way they look like little strangers the moment you feast your eyes on them...totally unrecognizable yet freshly detached from your own body. I like the way they come to your hospital room in a plain white blanket, wrapped so tightly and with such precision you wonder if they'll have to wear it to college. I like how they look in their baby bed the very first time you tuck them in it it--so small you decide they better sleep in your room. :)
I like the funny expressions they make while they're dozing and how they crack an awkward smile as if they've tagged an angel. I like the way they yawn with their whole bodies and how the stork bites on the backs of their necks are often as plain as day. I like the way they never go for the applesauce disguising the pureed liver. I like how they smell after their grannies bathe them and bring them to their mamas. I like the soft bristles of their brushes and how their hair looks when you first get it to part.
I like the way they love you more than anyone else on earth has ever loved you. I like how they quiet to your whisper after all your friends and relatives have desperately tried to calm them. I like the first time they reach their arms out to you. I like having the prerogative not to lay them down for a nap and rocking them instead for all three house if you have a mind to.
I like the way they learn to entertain all the patrons at the restaurant with a spoon on the metal tray of a high chair. I like how they first say Mama and Dad with twenty syllables each. I like the dimples their knees make when they first learn to stand. I like how they learn to walk because they want to get to you. And, boy, do I like footie pajamas...until the next morning when no telling what is in the footie. I like the way the know they're going to Mother's Day Out the instant they wake up. And they're not in the mood. And I love sleepy hair. You know...how it looks all fuzzy on one side when they first wake up.
I like the sudden discovery of sentences as their thoughts take the form of endless, delightful vocabulary. I like how you nearly die laughing once you realize what they're trying to say. I like the way neighbors don't realize they've just been insulted because they can't understand a word out of their mouths. I like the way "R's" don't appear in their alphabet until they are at least five years old. I like their simple rules of socialization...move or I push...gimme or I bite.
I like how little girls think pink chiffon dresses are divine and little boys wear their cowboy boots with shorts. I like the way little girls prefer umbrellas and little boys--puddles. I like how they look on the first day of kindergarten--from the front. Not from the back. I like taking pictures of them with their friends every year on the first day of school...that is, until you come across that very first on in the drawer. And you cry. 'Cause it went too fast. And you can't go back. I like the way they know it's time to go even when Mommy doesn't agree. Because that's the way it should be.
I like how your children like you even better when they're grown. And how, if you're really lucky, they might have children of their own. And you can try it once more.
And maybe do a little better. Because I like children.