I waited twenty years to become a parent. I was 25 when I started truly yearning for children of my own, and exactly twenty years later, that dream was realized.
I broke a toe once. You can’t set a toe, or cast it. You just tape it to another toe and try not to use it. But of course, it’s your toe which is on your foot, and it’s pretty hard not to use your foot every day. Your shoes don’t fit either, so you wear the loosest shoes you can find, which are usually rather ugly to boot. Your friends try to make light of it, “oh those granny sneakers aren’t so bad. they’re just different.” You survive a broken toe, though. It’s not cancer or heart disease. You develop a sense of humor about your situation and just move on.
That’s what those twenty years felt like. Something was broken but it was impossible to fix. And everyone tried to tell me that it wasn’t ugly it was just different. And it isn’t ugly–it’s just it was my ugly. I wanted kids. Yes, there were many wonderful things about being unattached. My life had meaning and worth. But I wanted kids. And I felt it every single day, just like that dang broken toe.
So, while I know people are so well meaning in saying, “treasure this time, it will go so fast” or various variations on that theme, please don’t think for one second that I don’t know that. I waited twenty years for this. If I could slow the clock down, I would. I’m in no hurry for kindergarten. I’m in no hurry for any of it. Selam proudly announces that she can do all sorts of things because she’s four AND A HALF, and I respond by saying, “and you’re still my baby, too.”
She is changing so rapidly. In the last month, she has
- gone cold turkey on the night-time pull-ups.
- given up requiring me to lie in bed with her while she falls to sleep (though I do have to be in the room.)
- outgrown her 5 point harness car seat.
- started to initiate playing with others on the playgrounds and learned to play interactively with friends.
- learned how to pick out her own clothes in something vaguely resembling matching.
- mostly knows how to swim. She insists on wearing her floaty belt, which the teacher says she does not need, so we’re still working on her getting the confidence to give that up.