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It is difficult to say there are points along the way of parenthood that my love for my children grew, but there are points along the way when I realized how much my children love me.

This was that endearing moment for me with Candace, my little Tickle Belle!

That Endearing Moment with Tickle Belle

Candace was a normal child in most ways. However, her ability to communicate as a young child was phenomenal! She could say intelligible words by the time she turned one, and could speak in thoughtful complete sentences by the time she was two.

She brought me the phone one time when she was that age. The person on the other end said how cute it was to talk to my child, and asked her age. When I told him she was two, he said "I meant the child who was on the phone." I told him she was my only child and she was two. "I can’t believe I just had an intelligent conversation with a two year old," was his reply!

The nick name that stuck for her was Tickle Belle. When she was nine, she drew a picture of herself and me. She put "Dad and Tickle Bell" as the title. I told her she had misspelled her nick name; there needed to be an "E" on the end of "Bell." I told her to look it up in the dictionary so she would understand why. She came back about three minutes later and gave me one of the biggest hugs she ever gave me!

She loved music. Her two favorite artists were Michael Jackson and New Kids on the Block, and especially Joey McIntyre. We would listen to them often, and one of the places we would do so was in the car on the way to and from daycare.

She was three when this happened. We were on the way to daycare and we had just listened to some of her music.

I asked her if she could have anybody for a dad, who would she choose.

"You, of course," she replied without hesitation, and with a look like that was a stupid question!

I honestly did not expect that to be her answer thinking she would choose one of her idols. It stunned me, and brought tears to my eyes.

Years later she would tell me that she would not change who her father is, but the answer would have been different if I asked who she would want for a husband! That confession, though, did not change the impact of that endearing moment with my Tickle Belle!

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