Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Thoughts on parenting

"He is so full of energy and muscle, teething, ranting, crazed, but he's the best baby you could ever hope for. Still a baby, though, which is to say, still periodically a pain in the neck. Donna was saying the other day that she knows this two-year-old who's really very together and wonderful a lot of the time, really the world's best two-year-old, but then she added, "Of course, that's like saying Albert Speer was the nicest Nazi. He was still a Nazi."

--Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

As a child, you think that your parents really have the good life--not having to be accountable to anyone, or ask for cookies or ice cream, being able to stay up late and drive cars. What would it be like to be so independent, you think. Then you become an adult and you do get to enjoy all of those things, possibly for many many years. But when you become a parent and you have an infant or young child in the home, you are worse off than even a child, in terms of independence. Every minute you nearly walk on tiptoes as you wait to hear the summoning cry or demanding yell from your child. Being a parent is never truly having down time, and being always on call. I'm hoping that we regain independence, at least to some degree, not too long after they learn to wipe their own bums and fix themselves sandwiches. The years go fast but sometimes the days are painfully long.

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