I’ve always been on the fence about having kids some day. But truth is, I’ve (kind of) been a parent for about three and half years now.
I’ve seen my “freshmen babies” grow physically, emotionally, and mentally. I drove them around, I bought groceries, toys, and gifts. I’ve swept, cooked, cleaned, washed, and vacuumed away many of our messes. I’ve helped them with homework and projects. I’ve even tucked them into bed since I’m usually the last man standing at a sleepover.
As they got older (as did I), I taught some of them how to drive, given encyclopedias of advice, and seen them have relationships, dates, and break-ups.
More time went on, as I helped them write essays for college, go tuxedo and prom dress shopping, and then partied with them at Wildwood, and saw them all walk at graduation.
And as time continued moving on, more people were added to my family, and more celebrations commenced. Whether it was a formal family dinner, a late night drive to Sonic, Taco Bell, McDonalds, or Wawa, half price apps with our FABULOUS waiter, Tom, an afternoon of video games, a night in our pajamas watching “Pretty Little Liars”, going to the beach in Belmar, buying those bloody wristbands from Seaside, going from grad party to grad party, or bullshitting at Lauren’s house… even though she’s not home.
I’ve spent so much time… so much energy… and a SHIT-TON of money on my babies… but in the end, it’s always been worth it. I’d do almost anything for them, even if it were just to get them to crack a smile.
I wish that my life could just freeze, and stay this way forever, where my babies and I could live in a world of no work and all play, where they’d never leave, and I could always take care of them…
But now, they all have their own cars and licenses. They know the importance of good credit, dressing like professionals, resumes and job applications, social networking… They can do laundry (some of them), know what’s going on with their cars, cook for themselves and others… they’re EVEN cleaning up after themselves! (I know, right? What the actual fuckin’ fuck?!) They’re drinking, smoking, putting on condoms like they’re latex gloves in a dentist’s office. And as they grow older, so do I.
The hair on my head has thinned and is now growing in my nose and on my back. (Lovely, right?) My skin is always either really dry or really greasy, and lost all natural glow. No matter how much make-up I put on, the dark circles under my eyes just never go away. My finger and toe nails scare the living shit out of me. I’m running to the bathroom every five minutes. I fart ALL the time (in public too!) I’ve even discussed irritable bowel syndrome and stools with total strangers. Music is always either too loud or not loud enough. I can’t bloody see ANYTHING. I have to have Advil with me at all times. And just like the joke from Spongebob’s “Grandma’s Kisses” episode, I’ve been caught listening to free-form jazz on several occasions. And I am not some 40 year old, middle-aged man… no… I am only 21. But the saddest realization of them all, was on this one day I went to Lauren’s and realized that no one really needed me.
I’ve suffered the pains of heartbreak, anger, and sadness. But nothing hurts more- absolutely nothing hurts more than the day you realize two things. One, is realizing “I’m not a child anymore.” You feel betrayed and deluded by life and God because when you’re young, you feel so invincible and that you’ll be young, energetic, and beautiful forever. The other hardest thing to realize… “My babies aren’t babies anymore.” And no matter how much time, energy, or money you spend preparing yourself for these two situations… you’re never ready.
So what’s the moral of this three and half year story? Well… there COULD be dozens…
"You never realize how much something is worth until it’s gone."
"You won’t be young forever."
"Kids are EXHAUSTING and make you age SO MUCH FASTER!"
but the reason I say “COULD be dozens” is because I forgot to mention one important detail. Probably, the most important detail of them all. If I had the opportunity to go back in time, and change anything, what would I change? You’d know what I’d change…?
Not one mother fucking thing. :)
So here I am, tears rolling down my face, typing this while sitting on the toilet… and not giving a shit who’s grossed out by that fact, because that’s ALSO something that comes with age - you just don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of you. I say good-bye to all of my friends that I will love, cherish, and remember until the day I die. I’ll miss you, and hopefully, you’ll miss me too.
I always questioned if I wanted to have children, because I never thought I’d be able to take care of someone else. But now, I realize I was one of the lucky ones. I got to practice taking care of children before deciding if I really wanted them. Now, I can’t wait until I’m a father… so that I can do it all over again.