Friday, June 22, 2007

Double-Digit Daughter

Today is Mimi’s 10th birthday, which means that for the rest of the time I know her, she’ll always be a double-digit age. (I certainly won’t live to be 140, and even if I could, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to.)

Naturally, it’s shocking to me that ten years have passed since her birth; it’s the usual experience of time: on the one hand, it seems like just yesterday she was emerging from the womb; on the other, when I think of all that’s happened since that morning a decade ago, it feels like about a century has gone by.

Back when Jen and I were engaged in our endless ruminations over whether to have children or not, I asked my dad about it and he said that pretty much all the highest highs and lowest lows in his life were associated with parenting—which he meant as an argument for conceiving. While at that time, he had on the order of 35 years experience as a dad, I can say that after a mere decade as one myself, I absolutely agree.

I have no regrets whatsoever about having become a parent and only, if anything, sometimes wish we’d gotten started sooner and had another kid or two when we might have.

Still, I do sometimes wonder what these past ten years would have been like had we remained childless.

For one thing, I almost certainly would have my Ph.D. Without the diversion of parenting available to me, I’d have had no excuse not to finish.

I probably would have visited India at least once and Jen and I would likely have been abroad a few more times. We might be living somewhere else than Seattle, especially if I had gotten a job at a 4 year school.

Mainly, though, I would, in all likelihood, be much grouchier and more uptight; nothing like a kid—and a double-digit one—to teach you how to chill out.


Anonymous alberto said...

I know the feeling. My daughter turned double-digit on the 23rd. But I don't see all of it as having taken too long or from both points of view as you do; rather, I see it all gone much too quickly. Yeap, it seems like it was just yesterday when the training wheels came off. Luckily, she'll never beat me over that hill -- got there first myself.

8:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home