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?

6 comments:

  1. I'd be happy if babies arrived at age three. Prior to that, most of it is just horrifying.

    I got "It'll change your life," much more...

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  2. I have a friend named Cherish. You'd probably hate her. (jk)

    Oh the things I get to look forward to once I have a kid. I'm so glad that you are writing down these memories in the form of a blog. I always get a laugh when I read your posts!

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  3. I don't think anyone ever told me to "cherish" certain times, but lots of people complained about how awful their kids were when they became teenagers. I didn't feel that way at all. I thought my kids became even more fun as they grew up. I would rather spend time with them than anyone else I know. Favorite Young Man is 33. He remains surprised and appreciative when people give him cake and presents.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. I have gotten the 'cherish' and 'life changing' comments from strangers and family alike. Initially I was like "yeah, yeah, tell me something I don't know" but there are days/moments where I feel stressed that I can't get anything done or am operating on two hours sleep where I find their words most useful as a reminder. Sort of puts things into perspective and then I look at my son and realize the laundry can wait, so can my shower, and I can do without sleep because he won't be little forever.

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  5. Happy 2nd Birthday to Junior!

    The word "cherish" always reminds me of that Madonna music video where she's hangin' at the beach. Of course, that was back when MTV played music videos. :)

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  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwAjGsuyF2M
    Is that why it makes your skin crawl? In my mind, cherish is something old people do. Although, I'm not quite young enough to YOLO.

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