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I'm drawn to the idea of well-knowing. When I surf with the Wavestorm, I catch a lot of waves and ride them for a while, mostly because I know that board so well. My Father-in-law has been living in Pennsylvania almost his entire life, and knows its streets and cities so well, he practically has a history lesson stored up around every corner. I love studying music, its theory and history, and am proud to know a lot about a band I love or how to play a song without thinking about it. But one of the topics I most enjoy knowing well, is my kids.

When I became a stay-at-home dad for Ellie just a few months into her life, I didn't realize how much there was to know about an infant. But after seeing her through her first year, I was struck by what I understood about her, how well I could navigate her voices and sounds, and how I was able to anticipate and interpret her needs. To this day I am proud of how well I know my kids, and one of the best indicators of that I think, is interpretation.

Both of my kids called bananas, "meenas," for years. It's wrong, but cute.

Kids don't make sense much of the time, particularly to the untrained ear. But how often have you been in a group and your child says something that sounds foreign to a friend, but you completely understand? "She's saying she needs to go potty," you inform with a tinge of pride in your voice, before strutting away to meet the need, feeling like a super parent as you save the day in a way no one else could. It feels good to know our kids, and is something we should strive for. (I'll throw in right here that we are also called to be students of our spouses, and should work towards a similar intimacy in knowing; but that's another blog post...)

My friend Taylor made this video about a couple of guys without kids trying to interpret what different children are saying. It's pretty funny, and kind of sparked this whole idea:


Something both of my kids said that only Katie and I were able to interpret at first was the word "water." Ellie would say, "Wa-la-la-la-la-la-laaaa?" And the longer she held out the last "la" was how thirsty she was. Waverly, on the other hand, pronounced water like a line from one of my favorite punk band's songs: "Woah-woah-woah." Both lines are kind of silly, but I was proud every time a stranger would reply in question at their remark, and I could simply say, "She needs water."

And so I encourage you, Reader, to test yourselves -- how well do you know your kids? Are there any things they do or say that only you and your spouse understand? If so, comment below on what they are. As silly as mispronounced words can be, knowing and investing in our children is one of the greatest things we can do in this life; and so it is always a worthwhile endeavor to listen and to understand these little confusing gifts from God.

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