You remember that great Seinfeld episode where they go to visit that couple that just had a baby? And the baby was kind of, well, hideous? Funny episode. But it made me remember when I first had kids. I prefer to go back further than that, but for the point of today’s story I won’t.
So let’s pick an age. How about when my daughter was four and my son was one. Man, were they cute. And lovable. Nothing they did annoyed me. Of course today I cannot stand almost anything about them, but this isn’t about that old, CONSTANT complaint. This is about how I used to hold them and play with them and they laughed and it was beautiful. And I remember whenever I saw another parent with an older child — perhaps a teenager, perhaps even just a ten or eleven-year-old — I would always wonder this: “Would I still love my kids as much as I do now when they are no longer this cute?”
Maybe it’s a strange thought. Maybe not. But it wasn’t so much wonder as it was worry. I worried that when my kids were no longer in the adorable category that I wouldn’t love them quite as much. I knew I would always love them. But I feared that it would just be less. And if that did happen, then that would take my superficiality to a whole new, lower level. And I didn’t want that. So, yeah, I guess this is actually more about my ego, and about how I perceive myself, than it is about my own kids.
Am I the only parent who has ever had this thought? Anyone else? Anyone? No? Oh well. So now of course I have the answer. My kids are older. They are no longer adorable. So…do I love them less than I did when they were scrumptious four and one-year-olds? Hell yes! Sorry. But that’s the truth. I know it sounds mean. But I’m nothing if not honest about my feelings. Thus this outlet called my blog. Anyway, does loving them less make me a superficial ogre? I don’t think so. Because here are the facts: At ages one and four they were cute, lovable, wanted to be with me, needed me, cried when I left them. Now? They are surly, rude, downright mean, cry when I approach. I’m a human being, people! I have feelings! There’s only so much unrequited love a man can take.
So now the only mystery is that when they get older, and nicer, and more pleasant to be around…will I love them more than I do right now? I know where the smart money is, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.