Somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain I am aware that not everybody in the world may think my baby is as awesome as I do. Parents, by nature, are overzealous when it comes to the creatures they created. Before I had children, I was easily annoyed by parents- especially the type who thought everything their child did was a miracle. Yes, your baby is a human. Yes, your child acts like a human. Whoop-dee-freaking-do I thought. I hate to admit how many times I rolled my eyes at a parent sharing that their child rolled over for the first time/ went potty in the toilet/ slept through the night/ laughed during peek a boo. These are all very unextraordinary feats for humans. After all, I know a lot of people who can go potty in the toilet and that just doesn't impress me much.
Since having June I have begun to understand this weird habit of parents, and I feel like a public apology is in order. Here goes: I am very sorry for all the times I was annoyed at parents marveling over their babies. I spend a lot of my free time now days just staring at June- pretty freaking amazed by everything she does. Sometimes I wonder why I am so impressed by such ordinary things and I think I may have figured it out.
I think parents love watching their children learn and grow because I think it is our way of experiencing it for our own very first time. Take June for example- lately she's been really into moving her hands around, and I just can't get me enough of June figuring out her hands. The thing is I never remember when I discovered my hands- when I figured out that I could put my hand in my mouth if I wanted, move my individual fingers one by one, and (gasp!) even grab something and hold on to it. As long as I can remember, I have always known my hand could do these things which is why it is fascinating for me to watch June figure out. It's the first time I've ever experienced discovering what hands can do.
The same with learning to hold her head up. And figuring out how to smile and coo and laugh. In some crazy roundabout way when I watch her learn it for the first time I am experiencing learning it it for the first time too.
One of the best parts about being a parent is undoubtedly being there when your child discovers the simple pleasures of life. Seeing June enjoy a hot bath is so rewarding. I like hot baths too! And so does my baby! And I get to watch her enjoy it for the first time! In the car the other day she was moving her head around with the beat and it just blew my mind. Oh my gosh! My baby likes music like I do! She feels instinctively a desire to move her body when there is a beat. And there I was, totally in awe at my baby enjoying the music.
It makes me so excited for all the simple pleasures ahead- the first time she hears the sound of the ocean waves, the first time she tastes chocolate ice cream, the first time she sees a summer rain storm. I get to re experience all these things for the first time through her.
So next time you want to get annoyed at that parent over sharing her baby experiencing the most basic of human activities just remember that we are all experiencing that activity for the first time together. And it's awesome.