What do you do when your two year old daughter points at your plate of spaghetti and says “papa” when you come into the kitchen? I was late for dinner the other day, due to trivial computer work that ate up my hours, and I hadn’t eaten enough. Miru knows this exactly, and readily takes it upon herself to educate her daddy.
When we are about to go out, she takes my shoes and indicates that I should put them on. “Papa.” We are going out now. Don’t linger here, stop working on whatever you were doing on your computer, and go outside into the sun.
That is me: A pair of shoes, a plate of food, a friendly giant who has to eat and walk in the park. Being that thing, that precise section of Miru’s universe she calls “papa”, is a beautiful experience.
It is a delight to see Miru playing in the park. Where we live, near Marques de Pombal in central Lisbon, is a wonderful park where children play on swings while their parents can watch from a safe distance, enjoy their espresso and work with their laptops. It feels like this is as good as it gets. Miru is a hapy child, going through a phase of pushiness and possessiveness that they call toddler’s adolescence with élan. She pushes and picks what’s not hers, but we also see her stroking her friends and sharing what we would consider hers. Empathy is a fragile instinct and we parents have to beautiful task to make it blossom.
The spring is young, the days are lengthening. We will take Miru to the park many more times, and learn a lot from her before summer.