I promised myself when we had Ethan that he would not be the stereotypical baby of the family, that we would not treat him that way. Well, you know what they say about the best intentions…….I was carrying him up the stairs to daycare the other morning, and I realized that at this age, there was no carrying Ryley or Grace anywhere, except up to bed! Granted the fact that they’re only a year apart, I really couldn’t carry them at that age….If I carried one, I’d have to carry the other. At nearly two, we thought they were not babies anymore, didn’t need to be carried, etc. At nearly two, Ethan is still called the “baby”. I’ve tried to introduce the word “toddler” to Ryley and Grace’s vocabulary, but they just don’t get it. Ethan is still the baby of the family. In some ways, he seems so much more advanced than Ryley or Grace did at nearly two, but he’s still the baby. At nearly two, I was looking forward to preschool for Ryley and then Grace. At nearly two, it breaks my heart to think of sending Ethan to school. I just can’t imagine sending him off to preschool. He’s too young! I might feel differently about it in a year, but judging from friends’ experiences, I doubt it.
I’ve been reading this book about a woman who finds out in her 30’s her father kidnapped her from her mother when she was four, took her across the country to start a new life, renamed her, and invented a new past for her. She has a five year old daughter. She thinks about how we might imprint our desires, our regrets on our children to be lived out by them. It made me think about the things I wish I’d been able to do as a kid, and how this has affected what I do with my own children. I wish my mother had kept me in dance instead of pulling me out after just one year. If Grace likes dancing, then she will stay in it until she doesn’t like it anymore. I love baseball, and I always have. My brother was in little league and it was part of my growing up. Now after signing Ryley up for t-ball, I hope it will be part of my childrens’ growing up memories. He will stay in it as long as he likes it. We didn’t have money growing up to take big vacations. It’s so important to me for my children to be able to travel, to see Disneyland before they’re 10 years old, to fly on a plane before they’re 20, to have memories of vacations with parents and siblings. Don’t get me wrong….I didn’t have a horrid childhood, and my parents did the best they could with what they had. I just want more for my children, and it affects my everyday life. I worry that I am putting that onto my children….pushing my dreams and desires onto them. I don’t want them to say one day “I wish mom had let me…..” or “I wish mom hadn’t pushed us to……” Does anyone else worry about this? Does anyone else have these thoughts and fears?