Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vicarious Fun

I think all parents to one degree or another live vicariously through their children.  Not necessarily in an unhealthy way, although that is quite possible, but in a way that allows them to feel their joys, their hurts, and their excitement as a shared experience.  In the last several days, I have had the pleasure of several events that were all positive, vicarious fun.

It started last Wednesday as we went on a long-awaited and much needed vacation.  We made a few different stops but the ultimate destination was the Gulf Coast, more specifically Port Aransas.  I have been to many beaches and the best ones are not on any coast of Texas.  We are so close to the Mississippi that our ocean views are quite murky and brown.  Our beaches are covered with seaweed and a particular grain of sand that just cannot be fully eradicated from ones body.

But for my kids, it was their first encounter with the ocean.  Through their eyes I was able to experience it all over again and see just how awesome it was.  I was able to remember my many summer visits to Corpus Christi to visit my grandparents and the shear awe I felt when running through the waves and sand dunes.  Its a strange phenomenon but their joy over finding their first clam, their first sand dollar, getting splashed by their first wave, their first REAL sand castle, and their first boogie board ride was literally contagious.  Any good parent wants their children to be happy but there is something more to it than that.  Perhaps it just cannot be described, it is something that can only be experienced.

Just yesterday, though we are back now and already in our normal routines, I had the joy of teaching my twins some Spanish words and phrases.  They simply lit up when they would master the particular sentence we were working on and proudly proclaim, "I can speak Spanish!"  And just when my vicarious bliss tank was nearing full both kids had loose teeth that they asked me to pull...and pull I did.  They spent the next hour jumping around, celebrating the milestone, exited to show their toothless grins and constantly looking in the mirror trying to get used to their new reflection. 

Many more firsts and milestones are yet to come.  Something tells me that I might enjoy every single one of them as much or more than my children will!