Today I met a young woman in the party aisle at Target. I was carefully selecting a “Happy Birthday” banner and while it may seem silly to say “carefully selecting,” that’s exactly what I was doing. Birthdays always feel special to me and my little guy is turning four next week. As I compared two different banners, she asked me if I was throwing a birthday party. “Yep!” I replied. “My son is turning four.” She smiled and said that she was trying to find some fun, cheap gifts for her nieces that would be visiting this weekend.
As I moved on to candles, she blurted out “Is he your only one? Do you like being a parent? My husband and I are thinking of starting a family next year.”
I stood there for a moment, shirt wrinkled from a day in the office, hair piled on the top of my head and itching to get home to my husband and son. And a smile spread to my face. “It’s wonderful,” I said. “You’ll get plenty of stories about how it’s hard, you’ll never sleep, and how teenagers are the devil. But I think it is the greatest experience and I think you should have at least one person tell you that.”
And I meant it. Starting when Harry was a baby, I sniffed him and whispered “This one’s mine” in his ear as a silly way to tell him that no matter what happened in our lives, he belonged to me. I’ve done it every night for the past 3+ years. Tonight after making my boy dinner and tucking him in bed, he wrapped his arms around my neck and sniffed me. “This one’s mine,” he whispered.
Yes. I adore being a parent.
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