I have a number of friends with babies right now.
From newborn to the just-starting-to-be-able-to-get-into-trouble phase, I see an awful lot of baby pictures on Facebook. I hear a lot of baby stories, from the plight of new parents learning to navigate the world in a sleep-deprived haze to the part-amused, part-exasperated woes of parents whose little ones are newly mobile (and suddenly aware that they can reach stuff they couldn’t before, like everything from the top of the coffee table to the cat).
I’ve been there; I’ve done that. I listen to or read the stories with amusement and sympathy, and look at the photos with a smile. I don’t miss the lack of sleep or the constant attempts to keep up with an exploring baby thrilled with new locomotion, but ... I kind of regret that I (almost certainly) won’t be doing it again.
I never considered myself horribly sentimental about babies. I was nervous with my newborns and was very happy when they made it to the real interaction stage. That said, with really little ones, it’s just this ... ultimate trust, for lack of a better phrase. There’s a feeling to holding a sleepy infant in your arms that’s like absolutely nothing else.
These days ... well, my boys might sit with me, for a few seconds, but that’s going to be interspersed with frequent squirming and commentary on whatever is going on. And it’s not going to last long before they’re off and running, playing, jumping, being kids. They don’t want to cuddle with mom, for the most part, unless they’re not feeling well (whereupon all bets are off and cuddles are their right and due).
With older babies, there’s this constant sense of “Oh, wow!” It’s not that older kids don’t have that, but it’s different somehow with the little ones. My kids might have that reaction to a new amusement park or cool toy ... but an 8-month-old has that reaction to everyday life, from realizing that she can roll from one part of the room to another to seeing a beloved family member that she just saw a day or two ago.
Everything is new. Everything is novel. And there’s so very much to discover. It’s a wonderful thing to watch.
But I need to be fair here. The wonder doesn’t go away. It just changes.
My 4-year-old ... newly conscious of things such as age and “big boy” status ... saw his first new release movie in a theater with me last week. I wouldn’t recommend this for all ... or even most ... kids his age, but I knew he was ready for it, that he understood proper theater behavior and had the attention span to appreciate it.
And he was.
Aside for some antsy-ness (is that a word?) during previews and a few whispered comments (”Her mommy turned into a bear!) , he did great ... and loved the movie. And I have a new buddy with whom to go to the theater.
You just can’t do that with an infant.
A day or two later, I took Jim, my 7-year-old who loves water in any shape or form, to visit Niagara Falls for the very first time ... as in the actual waterfalls, not the city. I’ve already been a bit nervy about taking the kids there, just because you can get so very close to the brink and the long, long drop below it.
The 4-year-old still wasn’t deemed “safe” ... he can be a bit squirrelly ... but Jim, I thought, was ready.
And he was.
We spent an afternoon out together, my oldest son and I, watching the falls, walking around Goat Island and having a snack at one of the rest stops. We talked about the “big waterfall!” and while I’m not sure how much of my explanation registered, he still seemed to think it was fascinating stuff.
You can’t do that with an infant, either ... or you could, but they’re not going to get much out of it at all.
My babies aren’t, well, babies anymore. Not by a longshot. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t new things to discover, or that we’ll have any less fun in doing so.
And to all the new parents out there: Enjoy it while it lasts.
It moves faster than you would ever dream possible.
I have a number of friends with babies right now.
- Worm composting an organic, fast way to produce fertilizer Some people might get a little squeamish when they hear what Master Gardener Gale Klinshaw, of the Town of Lockport, likes to do for a hobby.
- ADAMCZYK: When life is a comic opera All right, try building a cultural organization, from scratch, and make that an opera company, in a community where fledgling opera troupes have come and gone. A community with plenty of opera fans, but plenty of others who have never experienced a full-scale, start-to-finish opera.
- PINSPIRED: Mini albums seem too simple to be true It was one of the first things I ever "pinned," but in reality, I didn't have many hopes for this Pinterest-inspired project.
- Actress portrays Lillian Bronson in reenactment presentation Monday Linda Covell has been portraying Lillian Bronson for a long time. Even if she wanted to retire, and spend more time tending her many cats, people keep requesting her performance of the famous Lockport actress who starred with a gamut of famous actors from Clark Gable and Henry Winkler.
- Sloppy Joes are always a hit with the kids, even gluten-free
- New bakery near Falls airport offers cookies, cakes with recipes from Italy There are lots of Italian cookies sold in the Niagara region, but Rosa Strangio said she could never find any like those she makes in her new bakery.â€©
BOOK NOOK: 'Remarkable Women' an encyclopedic look at N.Y. history
Often lost in the quagmire that is the Empire State's current state of affairs is what a rich history our home has.â€©
- Skin cancer can be found in the most unlikely place -- your foot The signs and symptoms of skin cancer might be well-known to some, perhaps as easy as your ABCs ... and Ds.
- Consider Diamonds in the Ruff Iris the Queen, a 5-year-old pitbull, was surrendered in August 2011. She had delivered four litters of puppies and was in a home where she was left in a room. Iris had an infected mammary gland that had ruptured and her owner could not care for her anymore and was going to euthanize her.
- CRIB NOTES: Getting back up after being knocked down If life experiences could earn people diplomas, I'd have a Ph.D. in being the butt of jokes.
- More Features Headlines