A lot of what I write here on Strocel.com covers the trials and tribulations of raising children. After all, as any parent can tell you, there are a lot of trials and tribulations. The job involves, among other things, sleep deprivation, loss of bathroom privacy, public embarrassment and a whole lot of expense. But any parent can also tell you that’s not the whole story. Sometimes having kids is a lot of fun. Today I’m writing about the fun stuff.
The Fun Parts of Having Kids
Here are some of the things that I really enjoy about having kids. They’re not deep or meaningful. We all know that becoming a parent is a life-altering and awe-inspiring experience, and that it teaches us things about life and the universe and ourselves. I don’t need to write about that. Instead, I’m writing about the small ways that being a parent brightens my life.
1. Better Holidays
Special occasions are way more fun with kids. I’m not just talking about the big ones like Christmas, either. Children get into every celebration, from Groundhog Day to Halloween to Canada Day to your birthday. They’re always looking for a reason to celebrate. That spirit is infectious. When you’re dressed in green from head-to-toe and preparing an Irish-themed dinner, I defy you not to smile, at least a little.
I don’t remember exactly when, but sometime in early adolescence I stopped playing with toys, because I wanted to appear “grown up”. Now that I have kids, though, I have a ready-made excuse to get down on the floor and build something with Lego, or re-arrange furniture in a dollhouse. Plus, now that I really am a grown up, I also get to buy the toys. Those things I always wanted? Now I have them.
3. Adorable Clothes
Children’s clothing is the cutest. I have a particular weakness for itty-bitty shoes. While dressing myself is always a little fraught, thanks to the fact that I have my own share of body image issues, I have none of that when I buy clothes for my kids. Dressing them is totally playful. Plus there’s the extra fun of the signature looks they create when they start dressing themselves. I wouldn’t wear two different shoes, but my kids would.
I love children’s literature. Sharing some of my favourite books with my kids, and discovering new ones together, is so much fun. I often find myself flipping ahead in the chapter books I read my daughter because I’m all caught up in the story and I want to see what happens next. And picture books, filled with amazing illustrations and hilarious or heart-warming stories, are always good for a little bit of fun.
5. The Stuff Kids Say
Kids, as the old TV show title affirms, say the darnedest things. Like the time recently when my son looked at me very gravely and said, “Mama, you are not the best Daddy.” Or the time that my then-two-year-old daughter Hannah decided that the new lines on the soccer field had been drawn there by fairies. If you can’t laugh you’ll cry – but luckily my kids keep me laughing, without even really meaning to.
There are lots of other things I love about having kids, but I’ll leave it at that for now, because I’d like to open it to you. What parts of having kids are the most fun for you?