There are moments in the life of a child that are bigger than others. They are the moments that set the foundation of memories and the molding of the idea of childhood as it will someday be recalled in retrospect. They are milestones of their young life. They are stepping stones that lead children onward, and eventually, away. They are big and happy, small and sad, and they are be all means necessary.
I had always assumed that these moments would be our, meaning the parents, sole domain, and that society, specifically the rest of the family, would understand and respect our right to them. One should never make assumptions.
My man Jason broke it down this morning, and it got me to thinking about which moments should be mine by default, which should belong to my wife, and what is acceptable to auction off on the familial e-bay.
The culprits in this stealing of milestones are almost always the same. The grandparents. Granted, in our case it is almost always my wife’s parents, but that is only because my family remains a state away. I’m sure they would be stepping all over my toes if they were here.
Take for instance our first trip to Disneyland with Atticus. When planning the vacation I had visions in my mind of me and the boy sporting our classic black mouse ears, complete with names stitched upon them, running through the park reveling in joy. My mom stole my thunder.
I was just in the freaking bathroom and I return to find my son wearing the ears, and there I was, earless and stunned. Of course he was too small to run, hell he couldn’t even walk yet, and 3 years later he doesn’t even remember the moment, but I do.
I’ll stage another moment this summer, when it may make enough of an impact to stick in that developing little head of his.
I suppose that may be the heart of the matter. There are moments in the life of a child that are bigger than others, but the fact is that the child will eventually make that distinction. The moments that we designate as such are actually the moments in the life of a child that were our moments from our childhood, memories that we’ve put on a pedestal and romanticized all of these years in hopes of recreating them with our own children.
Still, that should count for something, shouldn’t it?