09/30/2014 01:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

6 Things That Surprise Me About My Kids

By Patricia Minichiello

At night I write down things in my journal that surprised me most that day, along with moments that spoke to my heart and inspired me. Most of the time, I'm writing about my son and daughter. Here are a few ways they have surprised me most.


1. My daughter's beauty.

Maybe I was expecting a carbon copy of myself, the way my son is to my husband, but my daughter doesn't resemble me and I am stunned that we could be related. When she made her debut in the world, I wondered where those bright blue eyes came from. Now she is 10 months old, and I am captivated by her beauty more and more every day.

2. How seriously my son takes safety.

Before I even sit down in the driver seat, my son, a less than three-foot-tall human, says "Put your seat belt on!" Seat belt safety is high on his list of priorities, but he is also very concerned with my driving speed and making sure we keep gates up and doors closed so that his baby sister is safe.

3. How much I've laughed along the way.

There have been meltdowns too numerous to count, but I am always surprised by how quickly my little darlings can turn it on an off again. During one memorable performance (in front of Nana and Papa) my son was screaming in protest of bath time. I sternly took him upstairs to the tub, away from the hubbub of the dinner table. As I was stripping his clothes for the bath I said, "That was quite a show!" Almost instantly, his whaling and tears turned to a cackle of laughter and before I knew it, we were both in a fit of giggles.

4. What a comedian my son is.

One day after a hike in the woods, I asked my son what he remembered most. "I touched geese poop," he said, laughing so hard that the cookie he was eating flew out from the space between his front teeth. These are the kind of jokes he thrives on. They never seem to get old. Talk of all things bathroom related make my son chuckle to the point of hilarity. They help snap him out of bad moods too, which is good for all of us.

5. How strong-willed my kids are.

There are two kids in my house now and the older one is terrible about sharing. I've explained that everyone can play with all of the toys, but my son continues to rip his superheroes from my little girl's hands. My son doesn't mince words when it comes to sharing either. He answers with a defiant, "No!" followed by, "Because I don't want to." I only hope one day he sees value in sharing and uses his strong-willed nature in a positive way to help others and make a difference in the world.

6. How thoughtful my kids can be.

My 10-month-old crawled over to me the other day and put one of her puffs up to my mouth. Maybe she thought I was hungry? Then in the mailbox this week, I found a folded up paper, covered in a pencil drawing. "It's a letter for you mom, from me," my son said beaming. He happened to draw it with his father and then put it in the mailbox. The sweetness of both moments took me by surprise and was not lost on me.

There are so many special moments I have stumbled upon as a mom of two young children. Some I've enjoyed, others I've dreaded, but for the most part I look forward to the surprises the future holds. What surprises you about your child? Share your most surprising moments below.

Patricia Minichiello has written for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day Specials and the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times. She is the online managing editor of a newspaper in Vermont where she lives with her husband, super hero son and blue-eyed baby girl.

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