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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Parents reveal pleasures their kids provide

By Doreen Nagle
Gannett News Service

While the most time in a parent's year is made up of busily running from one activity to another, this is the time of year to gather our thoughts about the best job in the world ... parenting!

'I am grateful to be a parent because ... '

"In a time when none of us feels 100 percent safe, how grateful we are that our children are unaware of our concerns as they sleep in the next room, and how sad we are that not every parent all over the world can say the same thing." — parents of 5- and 3-year-old girls.

"I am thankful that my children still want to play with me even though I must say umpteen times a day, 'Not now. I don't have time.' " — Mother of 10- and 4-year-old boys and a 2-year-old girl.

"For all the surprise hugs and 'I love you, mommies' that come out of seemingly nowhere. The ones that are not followed by, 'Can I have a new bike?' The ones that just come from the heart. What a miracle those are." — mother of 6-year-old boy, 11-year-old girl.

"Watching my babies grow into adults with babies of their own. Seeing what fine adults they are and how proud I am of them for what fabulous parents they have turned out to be." — 85-year-old father of 55- and 59-year-old daughters, grandfather to three: 7, 21 and 29.

"Having him has made me want to do more, to be more of a responsible adult and to work harder so that I can provide for him the best I can on every level — emotionally, physically, materially and spiritually." — father of 5-year-old-son.

"For the remarkable things he says out of the blue. The other day he told me that my mother, who passed away earlier this year, must be a star in heaven. It lightened me and made me hope that she was, too." — mother of 5-year-old-son.

"I have a focus beyond myself. I never understood how nice that can be until I became a parent. I no longer obsess about the meaningless minutiae of life. Who has time?" — mother of two boys, ages 3 and 11.

"I had a really tough year. I was quite sick and then my business started to go downhill. When I really think about it, it was my children that kept me going. I looked forward to being with them every night as the bright spot in my day. I'm feeling much more in tune with what's important now." — father of 16-year-old boy, 14-year-old girl.

"I love hearing those little feet coming down the hallway at 6 a.m. to join us in bed. What a blessing! What a joy! What a privilege!" —mother of three girls: 4 1/2, 2 1/2, and 11 months.

"I am grateful that my son is a confident young man. All I wanted for him was to have a happy childhood on which to base the rest of his life. To know I have succeeded by watching how he handles himself means everything to me." — father of 18-year-old boy.

"My social life has widened so much since the birth of my daughter. I have met many other mothers and we have so much in common. I am grateful for my new friends — and hers." — mother of 2 1/2-year-old girl.

"We do many wonderful things together — from camping to going to see the symphony. I feel so clearly this is where I belong." — mother of 15-year-old boy and 11-year-old daughter.

Doreen Nagle is author of "But I Don't Feel Too Old To Be A Mommy" (HCI, $12.95).