It always amazes me how truly easy it is to please a child.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort…it doesn’t even require spending any money…but the rewards are huge and incredibly gratifying.
I refer to a visit I made to my younger daughter’s school.
Annie has been practicing for the past 3-4 weeks to memorize the words to a play she is performing in french at school.
It was a version of the Three Little Pigs and Annie played the wolf.
She has been rehearsing very hard and constantly asking my wife and I to help her with the script. She also had to create a costume and help her classmates build a simple set.
Yesterday was the show.
She had asked me a few weeks ago if I could come to the school to watch her perform. Normally it is hard to take away from work since I am in real estate and am paid on commission. No work usually equals no money. Not that she asks all the time, but when she sometimes does and I tell her I can’t, she really gets bummed. Of course her disappointment kills me.
This time around, I was able to come. My boss was travelling on business and my other colleague was in Florida…so I was the only one around. Instead of heading into the office, I decided to work from home. Annie was extremely excited.
I overheard her speaking to her best buddy the day before the big show telling her how excited she was to have “her daddy” come to the school to watch the play.
I got to school a bit early and saw her playing outside during recess. Her cheeks were red from the cold and she was chatting it up with her buddies all excited about the performance during the next period. When she saw me, she ran across the school yard and gave me the biggest hug I could ever have, telling me how happy she was to see me.
Her friends crowded around as we were talking…clearly envious of their friend whose dad came to see her in action.
She escorted me into the school, like royalty and introduced me to all her friends some of whom I have only heard of by name. I took my place at my seat and proceeded to endure eight different versions of the same script (there were different classes performing the same play). Annie’s group was third from last. Since I had brought my camera to capture the event she kept on striking poses..asking me to take pictures of her and her friends.
Finally, she was up…the big bad wolf was in action and she nailed it!! Beaming from ear to ear, I don’t quite know whose smile was bigger…hers or mine. She was fantastic and I was over the moon with pride.
She came over to me after her performance, climbed on my lap (getting harder to do as she gets bigger and bigger), planted a huge kiss on my cheek and whispered in my ear how happy and thankful she was to have me there.
As parents, we sometimes shower our children with “stuff” to compensate for what we can’t give them with our own love or time. We buy them what they ask for in the hopes that it will make them happy.
Not only is this unnecessary but is also a “cop out”. Your children crave any attention you give them. Talk to them, listen to them, support them…be their biggest fans. Not only will you have a child who is happy and content, you will also experience a feeling that cannot be described.