The Long View

My six-year-old, Sam, wants to know if it’s hard being a grown-up. Or rather, being a parent. He says being a kid is hard, with respect to having to do what your parents say. So, I imagine that he wonders about my end of this raw deal.

It’s probably more rewarding for me because I have the long view. I don’t know how to explain how much it takes to squeeze as much joy as one can get out of this life and share as much of it as you can with one’s children. I don’t know how to explain that I ceased to come first when Sam was born and that that is the best thing ever.

This afternoon, as he settled into a dentist’s chair, he exclaimed, “I have more toys at home – a collection. I’ve always wanted a collection.”

Hilarious. High comedy. And delivered at the perfect moment. It eased the anxiety of being in the dentist’s chair. It made me forget my guilt about this being his first such visit. I mean, nothing I ever do or experience singularly will ever make me as proud as I am of this sunshine child. This improbable burst of pure life force.

So, yes, Sammy. Maybe it’s easier being the parent. Parents do all the bill-paying and driving and drudgery. We don’t have nearly as many perks (toys, new clothes etc.). My day doesn’t effectively end at 1pm. But, my oh my, the long view. One day, I hope you will read this and tear up with recognition, my Sam.

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