I’m sitting outside a coffee shop watching a mother strap her kid into a stroller. When the hell did I stop doing that? It felt like the stroller phase would last forever. I remember feeling hot by the time I walked into a place after the unfolding and unbuckling and hoisting and buckling of the car seat to stroller dance. I couldn’t wait for it to end.
Oh, okay, now this mother is walking around to the other side of her minivan and taking out another smaller child. Smaller! Oh shit, I remember, I used to do that too! Apparently, I was a superhuman a few years back. And after all that activity to get them into the coffee shop, it looks like she’s taking her coffee to go. She didn’t sit down to drink it. She’s packing the kids back into the car. This is real life people.
But I realize that I’m experiencing the golden age of parenthood right now. Oh yeah, 12 and 9 is beautiful. No toddler incessant crying and clinging and snot. No teenage misery and testing and changes. We aren’t in the water. It’s just lapping at our toes. Anything lapping creates excitement, and for better or worse, I love a bit of excitement. Did I tell you that my son declared recently that his sister and I are gonna die young? That’s some fucked up shit to say given I feed them on a regular basis and have only locked myself out of the car 3 times in one year. I’ve got AAA Roadside Assistance; only people who live long spend money on something like that.
But I asked him to do something the other day and he didn’t groan or anything. That’s something. I’m gonna take it. The screaming and stinky diaper, I mean the cute baby phase, is over, but now I get the joy of being called a questionable adult in tones of hilarious sarcasm by a 12-year-old. The joys of parenthood keep unfolding and seriously, Dear Reader, it’s awesome.