Being the parent of a stubborn, intelligent girl in her terrible twos is not the easiest thing in the world. But there are times--and, actually, plenty of them--that make all the temper tantrums, potty-training accidents, and lost weekends seem trivial in comparison. Here are a couple of them:

This morning when I left for work, I stopped to give my sleeping daughter a kiss good-bye. When I kissed her on the cheek, she didn't open her eyes...but she smiled and snuggled a little closer to me. I had tears in my eyes as I went out the door.

My daughter has a Barney video in which Old King Cole comes to visit--his costume includes a big hoop skirt. We just made her a hoop skirt of her own (for the SCA, and when she put it on, she said, "I'm Old King Cole!" Not only did she remember that detail of the character's costume, but she identified what she was wearing with what she'd seen on TV. It was amazing!

For me, those are the moments that make parenting a joy--when I realize that my child and I are in love, and when I see her learn something new.