“Enjoy it while they’re young”

Base line: don’t listen to people (too much).

When my first child was born, I began noticing the number of people who tell you to enjoy it while they’re young, that it’s the best age etc.

Funny enough, I heard it at almost every age: when they were little babies, then when they started running around laughing, then when they talked, then when they entered school, so on and so forth.

A good friend of mine just became a father and I told him this marvellous secret: every age is enjoyable. I loved it when they were born (oh, did I cry with joy), I loved it when they walked, when they talked [1], when they began going to school, and all along the rest of their path so far.

I loved it when they decided what they liked and didn’t like, I loved it when they started giving me their opinions about what to read (advice to young parents: when your ten-year old son hands you A Monster Calls with a very serious look on his face, take the book and read it), I loved it when they started typing on their computers and writing their own stories, when they painted and drew and took photos and sang and danced and laughed and cried and cuddled.

I cherish every moment.

And you know the funny thing about it? The same people I tell about it always have a spare threat: “Oh, but you haven’t suffered teenage yet”. Well, I’m in for the ride, and yay. Every day, yay.

Footnotes

[1Although, as Libby Purves says in How Not To Be A Perfect Mother, don’t be too impatient for them to talk, because when they start, they won’t stop!

Comments

  • Soph (last Sunday)

    …Or not. I recently heard two colleagues discuss how they have to physically restraint their 4-5 years old kids when they completely loose it, sometimes lock them out in the garden (because if they did not they would probably hit them). How they have to go to a child counsellor to deal with it. And almost every sunday, I hear the piercing shriek of a little girl who gets locked out in the garden too just below my flat. Yuck.

    Reply to Soph

  • Stéphane (last Monday)

    Soph : Sad stories… I guess we don’t all have the same luck.

    Reply to Stéphane

  • Gaël Poupard (last Monday)

    Well, I guess I’m in, now :)

    I think people share their memories, kinda awkwardly. They do enjoy their loving memories, and hope you’ll do the same.

    Your baseline hits me another way: every parent now seems to be a parenthood consultant. I smile every time I got an advice, but my dear girlfriend doesn’t. I report to her some good friends’ advices (yours, emmanuelc’s, etc.) and she seems to prefer those!

    We just need to look at our wonderful child. Then we feel amazingly good (Nina Simone inside).

    Reply to Gaël Poupard

  • Stéphane (last Monday)

    Gaël : Ah yes, this too: all the other parents becoming consultants. I guess it’s an unconscious way of telling themselves they did good, in a way.

    Reply to Stéphane

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