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Childhood Part 2

By Doula Jen

There is a period of time between the ages of about 16 and 30, when the world sort of ceases to be wonder-ful. Don’t get me wrong—the twenties are great. Everybody knows that. However, they are also wild and messy, muddied with disillusionment. No, he will not always call you tomorrow. No, you will not always be the teacher’s pet. No, your parents will not always be there to bail you out.

During our late teens and early twenties, we try a great many things and somehow fail to appreciate the youth and freedom—no matter how often our elders sternly warn that time is fleeting and that the good times won’t last forever.

In our twenties we are only children, really, though not in the least child-like. That is, until we have our own…

When we begin to consider the possibility of parenthood, we start to remember life as a child. A favorite nursery rhyme, the worn stuffed elephant, bare feet on cool grass, sprinklers, daydreams, coloring books, building blocks.

new parentsWhen we finally become parents—babe in arms—we feel the weight of the world in terms of responsibility, but also a lightening up. Childhood again.

The 4th of July becomes more than just an excuse to indulge in potato chips and beer. It is long-lost excitement over fireworks—as you cultivate and absorb the wonder.

As parents, it is not uncommon to cry over an encounter with a Disney princess or scream with complete surrender at the Halloween haunted house.

More simple are the moments of awe experienced with an infant. Squinting at the sunlight, chasing the cat, wiggling toes in the bath water, laughing at our own reflection. Everything, everything, everything is new. And you, new parent, get to go along for the ride.

What a joy it is to watch the exhausted yet exhuberant mother remember the words to that old summer camp song, much to the baby’s delight. It will be the first of many things remembered. So, here’s to that, folks. Here’s to childhood part 2—complete with extra joy, deeper wonder, and at long last an appreciation for that fleeting time.

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