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7 Things My Kids Like About Me

Last Wednesday was my birthday.

In hamster years, I’m now 1080.

In human time, though, I turned 54.

As the years continue to hurtle past, my birthdays, I admit, are starting to get me a bit down. When I look back, it feels like I’ve done quite a lot in my lifetime…but I also wonder how much of this activity has really been of significance.

I guess I was seeking some confirmation of my worth in the world when I set the homework for my kids that afternoon. Along with other tasks, I made an unfinished list for them to complete: “7 Things I Like About Daddy.”

Of course, my kids groaned when they saw it, but they couldn’t really refuse when I whined, “Come on, guys! It’s my birthday!” (That’s certainly one good thing about birthdays: They serve as your trump card for getting people to carry out your needy requests.)

And, so prodded by guilt, my children went to work.

My daughter’s list

This is the list that 11-year-old Lulu made. (For easy reading, I’ve also typed out the text of what they wrote, errors corrected, below the scans of their original lists.)

7 Things I Like About Daddy

7 Things I Like About Daddy

1. He is funny and excited.
2. He plays outside.
3. He says “YES” most of the time.
4. He has a big butt.
5. He reads funny books.
6. He tells funny stories.
7. He plays lot of games.

My son’s list

Meanwhile, 9-year-old Roy wrote the sort of list I probably would have written if faced with a similar task as a fourth grader.

7 Things I Like About Daddy

7 Things I Like About Daddy

1. He is ugly.
2. He is good at sports.
3. He has a big butt.
(Note: They didn’t see each other’s list, yet wrote the same thing!)
4. He is weak.
5. He has a big brain.
6. He looks like a carrot.
7. He has good handwriting.

One huge truth

While I don’t think my butt is so big that it’s worth mentioning twice, nor, in my humble opinion, do I resemble a carrot, it’s certainly the case that these lists reminded me of one huge truth:

In the end, and if nothing else, my life matters—and matters profoundly—to these two little people. I may continue to wonder about the real significance of everything else, but when it comes to my kids, that significance is so joyfully clear.

How about you? What 7 things would your kids say they like about you?

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Welcome to Bilingual Monkeys!

I’m Adam Beck, the founder of this blog and The Bilingual Zoo, a lively worldwide forum for parents raising bilingual or multilingual kids. I’m also the author of the popular books Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability and Bilingual Success Stories Around the World. I’ve been an educator and writer in this field for 25 years as well as the parent of two bilingual children, now 19 and 16. I hope my work can help empower the success of your bilingual journey.

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