A little back story on my journey thus far: I started dating my husband when I was twenty-three years-old. We were married three years after that. Only as we neared our ten-year wedding anniversary was Joshua born. Before we became parents we had thirteen solid years of relationship. Thirteen years of Dual Income No Kids and endless kid-free evenings—spontaneous long weekend trips up the coast, countless lazy weekend mornings. I know it’s somewhat sacrilegious to wax nostalgic for the B.C. (before child) days, but this has been a serious adjustment. Not that I didn’t think about it. I remember discussing it with a friend when I first started trying to conceive. She’d had her first baby in the verdant and fresh place that is new love. She had commented on how nice it would be for us to start our parenting journey with such a foundation between us. Even then, my response was something along the lines of, “Yeah, but imagine how used to just the two of us we are.”
While the grass is often greener, I can see the wisdom of having some years logged in a union before taking on such a massive project: creating, nurturing, and supporting a brand new human being. And can we just pause for a moment to acknowledge how seriously needy young humans are? SO NEEDY! And for SO LONG! Eighteen years later, a child is finally “grown up.” While you may never stop being a child’s parent, at some point (not at eighteen, but maybe mid-twenties?) you do stop actually parenting them.
This thought brought me to the odd realization that if all goes well and my child and I both live long and healthy lives that we will have a longer standing adult to adult relationship than we have had an adult to child relationship. I ran the numbers and have to live until age seventy-two before this switch happens. With a little more math, I realized I only had to reach age eighty-six before Joshua will be fifty—FIFTY! Am I the only one who ponders weird stuff like this?< I am thrilled, and I mean thrilled to be a parent. I LOVE my son—the highs and lows, the joys, the challenges. But this is truly the biggest commitment I can imagine ever making. Aside, I suppose, from the commitment to marriage all those years ago. I’m glad I made both, and there is probably no sweet spot or “perfect time” to have a child anyway.
But the relaxing, leisurely brunches on restaurant patios sipping mimosas in the sun. Yeah, I miss that.