Saturday, June 09, 2012

Letter to a Twenty-Something

Dear Twenty-Something with no kids, nieces, or nephews,

I appreciate your concern for my well-being and understanding the importance of having a life outside of 'Rad's grasp.  I know that your suggestions of making sure I get out and not let my child hold me back from having a good time were provided with not a grain of malice or an ounce of get-a-life-ness.

But you don't have a kid.  You don't drop that kid off at daycare in the morning, work a full-day, pick that kid up, and try to make the most of the hour and a half you have with him before he starts rubbing his eyes, getting fussy, and needs to be put to sleep (after which you clean up the house, wash his bottles, maybe do some laundry, and prep to do it all again the next day).  You haven't marveled at how much that kid has grown in 9+ months or been woken by him bouncing in his crib, ready to start the day at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday.

Maybe you've gotten serious with a boyfriend or even said "I love you" to one, but you've never cradled your baby in your arms while he's taking a bottle (or fallen asleep while breastfeeding) and sworn that you would die for him unquestioningly.  You've never smelled that baby's head like it was a freshly-cut flower, inhaling deeply, praying that he'll never lose that scent - the scent of innocence and newness - before he starts to smell, well, bad like the rest of us.  You haven't found a dried crusty patch of shmurp on your shoulder when you turned on your computer at work, a small pair of socks in your purse, or a burpy cloth on your shoulder that you've driven all the way to work with and been ok with it.

See, the thing is, having a 'Rad-a-dude hasn't held me back in the least.  If anything, it's propelled me out into the world when I would have otherwise made excuses to stay under the covers.  Sure, I don't get out for bar crawls or drinking engagements much at night or sleep in past 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning, but I get up on the weekends and get out and do things.  I'm not saying this under the assumption that you don't, but getting out and doing something on the weekend besides go to the store is not something the pre-baby me did that often.  In the past few weeks I've been on the capitol square twice, gone for long drives through small towns in south central Wisconsin, gone out to eat with friends and 'Rad in tow, and been to a winery.  I do these things so my kid is stimulated and exposed to the world (although I probably do them more so because I've run out of ways to entertain him after 9 in the morning on the weekends or because he feel asleep in the car and I dare not wake the sleeping beast).

I guess what I'm saying is that I appreciate your sentiments, but you have no idea.



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