Sunday, June 16, 2013

Two years of adorableosity

My son just turned two and it was cute and heartbreaking.

Cute because he doesn’t quite understand birthdays yet, so there was none of the snotty entitlement that you sometimes see in older kids. He was just happy that people came to see him and gave him stuff. Each time he got a present or a piece of cake he was genuinely surprised and happy, like, “Free stuff? For me? And cake! This is all for me, you say? Thank you very much, but I don’t understand this at all.”

He obviously didn’t say any of that, but that is what his little face was saying every minute. He was also sharing and saying, “thank you,” all over the place like a little gentleman and it broke my heart. My wife and I know this innocent, good-natured baby sweetness is not going to last. We’ve known it all along and we're trying to remember all of it, but all of the adults at the party kept saying, “Cherish this time,” and it started to really weird me out.

Lots of people have said this to us, from total strangers on the street to family and friends. What does it even mean? That the people saying it are admitting to having been bad parents and are expressing regret in a really weird way? Or they really think we aren’t “cherishing” properly? There are also other questions such as: Why do they all use the word “cherish?” And why does that word make my skin crawl?

One lady cornered me in the produce aisle and said, “Cherish every minute.” Once I had escaped, I got to thinking, “Hold on now. Every minute?” I don't feel bad saying that there are a few things I wouldn’t mind forgetting, or at least letting time dull my memory a little. For example, the first six months where he wouldn’t sleep or gain weight and my wife was a stapled-together post-op patient and it was non-stop stress. I wouldn’t go back to that time for all the tea in China, all the clam chowder in New England, and all the omelets in Denver put together.

But overall, it has been awesome. Rest assured, random people: We’re enjoying ourselves, taking pictures, writing things down and generally “cherishing” the time the best we know how.

Has anyone ever said this to you? If so, do you have any theories on what they mean?