My child is totally perfect. And so is yours.
My child is totally perfect. Yours is too. We are not biased or blind. It is a truth you and I know deep in our bones. Our children are whole and complete perfection. Have you ever watched those time lapse videos of a flower blooming? You are fully attentive to each moment of growth. Within a period of seconds, you watch something come from nothing. A stem reaches up from the ground. It begins to change form. A bud emerges. Then, the wild miracle, the bud bursts, no, it explodes with a shudder into a flower. When you witness each moment of something becoming what it is meant to be, it is a special sort of magic. It is perfect.
As a parent, you have a front row seat to every developmental milestone, each new word, tooth, hobby, wardrobe style, and dream. You watch as your little one figures out the world and learns how to be part of it. You witness your child navigate all the wonders, fears, adventures, and peaceful moments that life has in store for them. They learn about everything from when to laugh at a joke to how to raise a glass for toast. They figure out how to get mad without hitting anyone, how to give, how to care. Every little thing they do is a small wonder. You’ve seen them learn it all. For figuring out this wild thing called being human, they are completely perfect.
I have a video from when my daughter was about 16 months where I asked her to smile. She scrunches up her eyes, nose, and mouth into a goofy smile. After a few moments of this she drops the smile, makes a concentrated face and starts blinking hard repeatedly. It’s the kind of blinking she does when I ask her to wink and it always makes me laugh. Then she scrunches up her face again, giggles at her shenanigans, and the video ends. The video captures this moment where I watch as she learns how to make various faces, specifically faces on command for a camera. She discovers ways to make the people around her laugh. It’s the sort of moment where I laugh and think to myself: “she’s the most perfect thing.” It’s the sort of thing that anyone else would find cute and mildly funny. To me, her parent, the moment is full of the joy she is learning to express, a newfound discovery of how to make other people laugh, faces she learned to make only months ago. I remember clearly the time when she couldn’t do all these things. I have watched the stem emerge from bare soil. I watch the blossoming again and again and again. Each time it’s just as miraculous as the last.
The intimacy of being a parent is unlike anything else you experience. Knowing someone the moment they learn how to smile, that they love sweet potato, the first time they really see and love the ocean is such a deeply special and connected relationship. The connection we share with our children is so vast and complex, it’s nearly its own far-reaching cosmos. The connection is an ever-present force, like gravity. Even if the relationship isn’t always close, you are always being drawn towards each other. The connection is deep and ancient. It exists within the very molecules of your being. It is...perfect.