Having a child now is different from five years ago (emotional edition)

Stuff edition here.

I was out of the super-hands-on parenting groove for a good few years since there was more than a five-year gap between Magdalena and Sterling. During that time, I became un-acquainted with the white noise of parenting, that never-ending background hum of diapers and bowel/bladder intricacies and doing everything with one hand because you have a baby in the other. It was jarring to go back to it all with Sterling, almost like going back in time.

Because one thing about your kids is that they match you to a certain cohort of other parents. As you start having children and hanging out with other parents for child-play reasons, it matters less how old you are and more how old your kids are. And while having a baby has probably (ok, definitely) aged me physically, it has somehow also made me younger because I now belong to a newer, fresher cohort of parents. The other day I was at the health clinic with Magdalena and an early-20s woman came in with her only child, a 1-year-old girl. The woman and I chatted for a moment and I thought about how nice she seemed, but how we would probably never run in the same playground circles since my girls go to the playground by themselves now. Then I remembered that I was holding an infant in my arms, and realized that I would probably be seeing this woman a LOT, starting in a few months.

I might as well be 24 again, on my own with Miriam. Sterling is like an only child during the day, and I confess that I sometimes have unpleasant memories of being the sole entertainer for an irrational, tiny human being. I look forward to the time of day when the girls come home from school and give him their energy and attention. I'm convinced that Sterling looks forward to it, too.

If you go to my neighborhood park in a few months, once Sterling is ambulatory, keep an eye out for me. I'll be hanging out with the 20-somethings.

February 28th, outsourced

February 2014 books