Raising Richmond: The little things we love

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we thought it only appropriate to let the lovey-doveyness spill over here a little bit. So tell us: What are the little things you love about your kids?

Editor’s note: Today’s feature is the newest installment of our parenting column written by two sets of Richmonders: Jorge and Patience Salgado (veteran parents of four gorgeous children), and Ross and Valerie Catrow (parenting rookies who have only been doing this “raising a child thing” for a little while). Check back fortnightly to watch them discuss/agree/disagree/throw down over all kinds of parenting issues, Richmond-related and beyond.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we thought it only appropriate to let the lovey-doveyness spill over here a little bit. So…

Today’s question: What are the little things you love about your kids?

Patience Salgado

Life and especially parenting is made up of a million tiny moments that somehow make everything add up. The pieces all together expose how rich and deep life (and love) really is.

Here are my tiny pieces of love at the moment:

I love eavesdropping on my boys’ (ages 7 and 9) play dates during the joke telling portion of the day. You’ve never heard so many knock-knock and fart jokes in your life. Giggling is my favorite.

I love Lucy’s (age 4) recent collection of family portraits. We are very scary alien-looking people holding hands.

I love how Jack (age 7) shrinks the dog after I yell at him. “It’s ok boy, you’re not always in the way.”

I love how Josiah (age 9) always wants to go on errands with me so we can talk about Legos and video games alone in the car.

I love Lyra’s coy and very I-know-I’m-the-baby smile when she is doing something she knows she shouldn’t. It came directly from her baby-of-the-family father.

I love Jack’s killer wink and how he always puts his hands in his pockets when we go somewhere new.

I love Josiah’s very intentional nurture of Lyra. His constant watchful eye and care has given them a deep bond.

I love Lucy’s serious love of shopping. She can look at clothes and shoes for hours; it’s like being with your best girlfriend, except she’s four.

I love the collective music love of The Beatles and Queen from all the children in the house. They request both bands on a regular basis.

I love Jack’s request for a special drink (sparkling juice in the wine bottle) at every grocery shopping trip. He isn’t fazed when I tell him it is only for special occasions — he still insists we toast to something at every dinner.

I love Lyra’s conversation. I feel like I’m living with a foreign national, no clue what she’s saying but this does not hinder her in the least. Kid talks all day long.

I love the entire family’s need to be in the same 250 square feet. Our house for six people is around 1200, and yet I swear we could live in a 700 square foot flat in London and be happy as clams.

Valerie Catrow

Like every parent, the love I have for our son JR is very big. It catches me off guard and is still something that I can’t quite wrap my head around. As big as my love for him is, I feel it most often in the little things about him, the bits of personality that pop up every now and then. Here are just a few:

I love how he is so brave when it comes to being around new people. He jumps right in without missing a beat.

I love how he smiles at strangers, even when they’re not looking at him.

I love his level of focus when filling and emptying containers. His precision reminds me very much of his engineer grandfather.

I love that “uh-oh” is a woeful “ruh-rohhhhh.”

I love how he brushes off his hands when he gets dirt or sand on them.

I love that he can hold his own with our two big, dumb dogs now.

I love how he still thinks that cows say “Boooooooo.”

I love that eating pretzels while looking out the window is his favorite pastime.

I love his new habit of humming when I hold him like he’s a baby.

I love how he calls all things blanket-like “Bee-bees.”

I love the brief pause he takes before saying “Mama.” And the smile he cracks as he says it just kills me.

I love that he uses “Whoa” appropriately.

I love how he goes from being dead asleep to talking a mile a minute in 0.3 seconds. Just like his dad.

I love how he’s still a bit of a mystery to us, surprising us every day, leaving us in constant anticipation of what who he’ll become and what he’ll show us next.

Now it’s your turn…

Tell us little things you love about your kids.

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Patience Salgado

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