Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reflections on Parenting

I've posted some pretty light-hearted thoughts on parenting. But I was doing some more serious reflecting as I lugged in groceries today while keeping a constant eye on the stairs to make sure one half-pint little adventurer didn't come sprawling down headfirst...

How is it that parenting can simultaneously 1) make you wonder who you were before you had kids, 2) feel like you never truly lived until you had kids, and 3) still long for those simpler days?

People gave us lots of advice about seizing the moment before we had our kids. But it's so hard to take that to heart until you've experienced it. I don't think I was particularly selfish before I had kids. BUT I COULD HAVE BEEN! Not just occasionally, but consistently selfish in lifestyle. I could have done anything I wanted anytime I wanted. And now I wish for the possibility of selfishness, with or without its realization.

At the same time, and I've heard this over and over from almost every parent who has tried to bestow wisdom on me, I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING. One hug, one smile, one little possessive arm thrown over me while I read bedtime stories or one little face curling into my neck when she's acting shy, and it's worth every minute of worrying about illness, obsessing over childcare and wishing for a guilt-free trip to the mall.

So I tell myself that it's OK to wish for freedom, and to try harder to remember all the little rewards of parenting next time I do!

(An old picture, but one that seemed appropriate.)

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