I was able to spend quality time with them just talking and watching the crabs. We would imagine them talking, switching shells, eating, and climbing. It wasn't long before we had the crabs crawling in our hands. We built bridges out of popsicle sticks, caves out of Pringles cans, a pretend swimming pool out of Lego's.
The story was there; I just had to listen.
As I look at my children now, I can see some of the simple things they learned from this experience. They have grown to love other animals, such as dogs, cats, birds, and snakes. They understand the responsibilities involved with caring for pets. And, they respect, rather than fear, most animals.
My daughter Tahleez has so much love for animals. I can't even count how many different animals she has touched and played with. She also knows the danger of certain animals, and at times, you just have to admire them from a distant.
Tristen is as "simple" as a kid could ever be. Tristen's imagination can keep him happy all day. He is strong, cautious, and smart. His only weakness is his own sister. He would give his last dollar to his sister, share his last jelly bean with her, and would even make a wish for her. As my daughter gets older, my mind is more at ease knowing that there is always someone looking after her when I'm not around.
One important lesson I learned from my own past that I need to apply as a father is: To love them without conditions. I know they will make their own mistakes, and I may tap them in the back of the head for doing so, but in the end, I will not turn my back on them.
"My love is unconditional"