Childhood and parenting

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I’m at the strange stage in life when many of my friends are beginning to have children. In fact, two of my best friends had babies last month and I check Instagram everyday in hopes of a new picture. It is amazing that these two women who I met at 18, bright-eyed and excited to be off on their own at university, were able to carry a child for 9 months, deliver it, and are now raising and caring for it. I am beyond excited for them and know that they’re going to do amazing jobs (with their respective, amazing husbands) at parenting. And even though I’m not at that part of my journey yet, I recognize that it is such a scary and exciting time!

With all of those thoughts on my mind lately, yesterday was my 26th birthday, and so I called my mom to thank her for birthing me. But as I talked to my parents about the day I was born, I realized that 26 years ago, my parents were just like my friends. I was their first child. I was the scary and exciting adventure.

I’ve never really thought of my role in their lives in this way. I marked a change in their identity. They went from being children to their parents, spouses to each other, and employees to their employers, to being parents to me. Their lives changed January 10, 1989 too.

I am not the baby that they came home with anymore. I’m a college grad with my own apartment, job, and life. In so many ways, I know that I’m a success and that my parents are proud of me. But at the same time, I wonder what they think about the life we’ve shared. I’m sure things have turned out differently than they thought they would 26 years ago–in both positive and negative ways.

It’s that uncertainty that makes parenthood unbelievably terrifying to me. And yet, I can’t help but be excited for my friends, and look forward to that future day in my life. I’m grateful my parents took such a big chance in deciding to become parents. I’m glad that they put up with me and let me learn the hard lessons. Because even though families make life difficult some of the time, they also add so much meaning to our day-to-day existence.

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