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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm warning you now

Here are three things they don't warn you about when you become a parent:

1. Every time your kid grows and changes, you lose someone. That old kid is gone and the new one is great and all, usually, but you don't get to hang onto the sweet lil thing you love. Luckily, memory is a wobbly thing, and so the pain of losing that old punkin is no big deal except occasionally when you run across a photo or drawing or something. (Maybe this is why I don't take so many photos--selfishly trying to avoid loss. I thought it was because I forgot how to use the camera.)

2. Memory is worse than wobbly actually. It's rotten as wood that's been left out several years. There are about a thousand moments when I know I made a big effort to take a mental snap shot. I promised myself
I won't forget how it looked and felt when the kid saw his first [fill in blank {no really, please fill it because it's blank}].
I won't forget how sweet that moment was when he [blank].
I won't forget how much it hurts to push out a 9 lb watermelon.
These vague memories are sort of there, but without much strength. That last one is a classic and why we have more than one child, of course. Anyway. You know how you will always remember when and where he spoke his first word, or took that first step, or something momentous so why bother to write it down? Unless you only have one and you have a great memory, chances are you're going to forget in about a month or so.

3. Memory is not so faulty when it comes to reliving your own past. I already figured out I was going to be living through school again, but now one of my kids is having trouble, nothing horrible, just a bit of extra help needed. That was my story, I think. How I hated meeting with teachers and parents and having them figure out that I lied and dodged work because I thought it was easier than doing it....Holy shit, I'm right back in middle school, the place I loathed more than anywhere on this earth.

There is a definite upside this time. It is kind of nice seeing that the teachers aren't always out to get the kids, that they sort of want to help. And I can see now the grown-ups involved are amused and tolerant more than angry. And that when a parent says she'll love you even if you fail a course, she's not just trying to make you feel better. But still. Ugh. Sometimes it's best to let the dead past bury its dead. School keeps digging up my corpses.

2 comments:

  1. #1: I know. It happened to me today. I was showing my medical assistant one of Jake's school photos, and I noticed the date on the back: 2002. I thought, oh, he hasn't changed that much, and then I took a closer look at the photo. Same feeling as what you just captured. Choked me up, it did.

    #2: We're fireflies, the moon is new, our paths are Brownian. Sometimes I think our blogs have more reality than we do.

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  2. Great post. There's definitely some bitter with the sweet.

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