Babies. They’re pretty cute. They’re fat and full of rolls and they giggle and they have disproportionately large heads and big anime eyes and they smell like babies! They also can’t talk and shit their pants (generally immediately after you have changed their diaper) and don’t understand how sleeping at night is awesome and their food looks like their poop and they can’t do ANYTHING for themselves. Essentially, they’re nice to look at but the upkeep is RIDICULOUS.
I read a lot about parenting (although you’d never know it to see me in action) and an overwhelming theme I come across is how sad people get that their kid is getting older. Frankly, I’m baffled. For me, one of the biggest rewards of being a mother is seeing my kid do shit for himself. Whether it’s entertaining himself on a Saturday morning so I can get some more sleep or tie his shoes or read the Cat In the Hat to me, I think it’s SO MUCH MORE AWESOME than wiping his ass. “I am raising a person! I am raising a person who will be able to care for himself!” I think proudly, watching him take 20 minutes of my life tying his shoes (we still have a bit to learn on that front.)
Raising an independent child has always been my top priority. I want him to know he has boundaries (and he does! He tests them EVERY FUCKING DAY OF MY LIFE!), but also that he is capable of achieving through hard work. It’s never been my goal to be a mom who can do it all. I’m well aware of my shortcomings; I’m never winning Mom of the Year. But every time I see my kid draw Batman (he’s really quite good!) or read every single goddamn thing as we walk down the street to get pizza (seriously. EVERYTHING. Even graffiti.), it’s a little blue ribbon. It’s telling me that I’m NOT fucking up my kid completely, that I AM doing something right.
Nostalgia for the younger years is something that eludes me, much like a biological clock or interest in Dr. Who. My son was a good baby, and is a great kid. He’s growing up at just the right speed (although I will admit that time seems to be going way faster now than it ever did before his existence.) I’m not sad to see the past gone (or willing to start anew with a fresh one), but I’m excited as hell to see what the future is going to bring. If I cross my fingers hard enough, it will bring my early retirement and subsequent residence in Key West.