A lovely friend of mine just had her baby a few weeks ago. He’s adorable and warm and pink, and I got to hold him for a little while when he wasn’t yet 24 hours old and it was lovely. (Also: we are definitely one and done – no baby fever here whatsoever, holy cow). We’ve been texting back and forth and talking about navigating some of the early nursing days, diapers, overheating, and all that super super newborn stuff.
While I’ve been blogging off and on for years in various places, the Arbolog got started back in August 2008 and so pretty much chronicles my life as a parent. Though I’ve not really focused on parenting specifically when I’ve written, a lot of the topics I write about are parenting related. When I started the Arbolog, Kale was about one month old, Ross and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and I blogged about all of the minutiae of being a new mom: how heavy Kale was, how much he ate, slept, pooped, sweated. I blogged so much back then, nearly daily, reporting to some invisible supervisor about the most mundane crap, and I hadn’t really found my voice.
The other day in our texting, my friend asked me about my experience with a specific aspect of nursing a newborn and you know – I couldn’t remember at all! I remember all the highs and lows of some of those early days, but it’s hard for me to place when they happened, and in what order.I don’t remember when Kale potty trained, let alone when he started latching properly.
I do remember saying to myself in those early days “I will remember everything, I have such a great memory!” My, my, wasn’t I just too precious? Somehow I had decided I was going to be better at remembering than everyone else.
If anything this past almost six years I have learned that I do not have all the answers. Parenting Kale has been trial and error, sharing stories with my friends for their advice and commiseration, sharing my experiences with my friends when asked to give them some ideas to consider, and trying to be adaptive to my child’s needs.
I do not believe I have done a perfect job at any point, but I think there are a few things I’m a bit better at than other things: explaining things, for one, in small, granular detail to a kid with a million questions. Balancing technology, for another. Teaching manners. Establishing routines. Getting him interested in food and cooking. Supporting learning as a natural part of his life. Encouraging him to show love.
I am not going to fool myself into believing I am nothing short of extremely lucky to have a kid so well suited to be my kid.
I posted a picture on Facebook the other day, and my friend Peter pointed out just how much Kale and I look alike. Whoa, dude. I didn’t even see it.