At first, its that we get to see this new human thats come to live with us. Just marveling at them, how beautiful they are. How lucky we are to get to know them. Then its all the milestones: the laughs, the coos, the crawling and walking. We can't wait to see what this little person can do.
Then as they get older, after all the milestones are met, what gets us through is not so much something that can be measured. Its a twinkle in an eye. Its a wonder, an amazement. As the world opens up to them, and their eyes get big as saucers and you just know there has been a spark in their soul. Its that moment they realize there is something great for them to discover in this world. Its to see the world like we first saw it, when we were first discovering.
Its that moment when they first see the moon through a telescope. When they know the world is bigger than their house and circle of friends. Its that moment when they first see a work of art that is so unlike anything they have ever seen and they realize that beauty is broader than any term they could use to define it. Its that moment, born in innocence, when a child says something so profoundly wise you realize just how much they really do pay attention. Its everyday moments when they finally get that math concept, or they find the humor in an embarrassing situation. Its these things that move us, they get us through. These things that make it all worth it. If just once a day to pay for all the hard and stressful and thankless jobs we do.
If you wonder why I have 9 kids, its because I can not get enough of those moments. All the other stuff, its worth it.