Often with this parenting thing, I find it’s the small things my kids do that leave me stunned or happy or confused or amazed. It can be a complex word that Toddler Adams uses correctly or some astounding fact Helen, her older sister, trots out at the dinner table.
One such event took place the other day. It was Helen’s sports day at school.
Toddler Adams and I went along to support Helen. Being a toddler, however, Elizabeth had some very firm ideas about what she wanted to do. She wanted to push her pushchair around, climb over some steps, have a drink, eat a biscuit, go off collecting feathers, run around in the school’s cricket nets; anything but sit still and watch as the kids were brought out on to the sports field.
As a result, we missed Helen’s class being lead out. When I was eventually able to persuade Elizabeth to pay attention, we had to try and pick her sister out of a crowd of 200(ish) kids. Even though she was wearing an incredibly distinctive hat, this took me quite a while.
I eventually found her. Toddler Adams and I strolled round to a spot where we could see Helen clearly.
Helen wasn’t upset, but she was looking from left to right, clearly trying to pick us out among the other mums and dads. Most of the other kids had already had a friendly wave, a shout of encouragement or even a cuddle from a parent or grandparent.
I shouted out and Helen saw us. She broke into the most amazing smile, I’d never really seen anything like it. Her face was partly shaded by her hat, head slightly tilted to one side but lots of teeth on display. She was so happy to have a small fan club there.
A saccharine moment? Maybe it was. Nonetheless, I won’t ever forget the look on her face. It was also one of those tiny parenting moments that bring so much joy.