"How a Stranger's Comment Changed the Way I Parent"
We have written here about how children increase the problems, and vicissitudes of life, and wreak havoc on marriages.
There is more below the fold.
Kids are easy, marriage is hard, and marital satisfaction is harder yet . . .
We wish we could take credit for being brilliantly aware of our inner center, but this epiphany came to us when Maddogsmom came home with Maddog's youngest brother, Maddog was 8. Old enough to participate with all aspects of child care, but young enough to be free of all the responsibilities. Maddog loved helping raise his youngest brother, and always looked at children through this lens. When Maddog and wife had children, Maddog always looked at them as if he were a child, they were fun. Yes, there were responsibilities, and worries, but they were separate, and maintained as separate.
Maddog is very lucky, he was a child when it was great to be a child, the 1960s and early 1970s, and he had a second childhood, afterwork and on weekends when his children were little. He plans to take a third bite of the apple, if he can snooker his children into having a passel.
From the underlying article:
"We'd spent a few hours at the beach during our Spring break trip to San Diego when the weather turned and we decided to pack it up and head out. I juggled sandy beach toys and wet towels in my arms and attempted to convince my 2-and-a-half-year-old that it was a good idea to leave the endless playground that is the beach while my husband followed behind with the folding chairs and our crying 4-month-old. As we trudged through the sand, I noticed an older man look at us and heard him comment sweetly to his wife: "Those were the days, weren't they?"
I stopped — not physically, because that would have sent plastic toys flying and my toddler running — but inwardly, and when we got back to the car my voice cracked as I told my husband what I'd heard. There weren't actual tears, though that wouldn't have been too surprising for my sentimental self, but I got emotional thinking about it. These are the days. We're in them, living them. Right. Now."
Why, yes, yes you are. Your epiphany is timely, so many people only seem to have it once the time is gone, the children grown, the opportunity lost.
Don't forget, and do what you must to wring every last drop of enjoyment from this time. Otherwise you might end up in a Harry Chapin song . . .