Little bits from youth

As my daughter passed her 9 month birthday a couple days ago, my wife and I suffered over how much she has grown.  It's a parent's eternal yearning to want their children to stay the same - but we also want to see them grow.  I was thinking how nice it would be to see things new for the first time all over again.  Just like the first time I experienced sushi, or tried to water-ski (I nearly cracked a rib that time). The newness of living is exciting.  Just like falling in love is so amazing.  With a brand new human being living in my house, I can experience all those new things all over again with her as my proxy.

It's why mothers and fathers want to be there when the baby takes his/her first steps... We want to be a part of their lives through all the new things they do because it makes us feel good just to be there.  Parents sure are selfish when it comes to their kids.  We want them to have the nicest things, eat the best food, wear the most comfortable diapers, have the best toys.  Now that I am a parent, I don't know if I've ever been more inclined to insert myself into every aspect of someone else's life.  It's funny too, because pretty soon she's going to abhor mommy and daddy doing anything for her because she'll want to do it all herself.  I'm sure my wife will probably cry the day her baby wants to tie her shoes by herself.  Part of growing up is becoming independent, though that simple fact seems to tear parents apart from the inside when they see their child get older.

I can't wait to see little Natalia walk, or sing, or play music because I'll know that it's those sort of things that will teach her self-reliance.  Learning on her own gives her the skills to be as good a human being as she can be.  It's going to be bittersweet because I won't ever get to experience bringing her home from the hospital for the first time again, or getting to hold her on my chest when she takes a nap after having a bottle after she gets too big.  But thankfully with the technology of cameras and handheld video recorders, I can capture moments like that to enjoy forever. 

I know I'm going to make mistakes as a parent, that's inevitable.  But hopefully, Natalia will be able to see past those shortcomings, just like I'll have to forgive her mistakes growing up.  My parents' biggest threat when I was growing up was cursing me to have children that were just like me so I could see what it was like... Honestly, and it's not to sound arrogant, I hope that she is like me.  I think as a person I've got a solid head on my shoulders, I've made the right decisions in life, and I can truly say that with all the crap I've been through I'm still happy.

I'm sure that it's no surprise that many parents are unconditionally proud of their children - sometimes to a fault.  It doesn't make much difference to try and point out to a doting parent that their child isn't flawless... Often a parent won't hear the criticism or possibly lash out at the bystander who is making faults known.  We want to believe that our kid's mistakes are those of our own, so we take it incredibly personally when someone criticizes our children.  Just like we beam when someone compliments our little ones.

One day my baby will grow up.  She'll understand what a geek her father is, and maybe she won't care.  I have to be careful not to blink though, cause I might miss something.

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