Becoming a parent changes you so dramatically, so completely, and without warning. It's the ultimate guerrilla assault. It's like hearing that in two minutes your house will explode. And it's not that it happens around you. It happens to you, at you, and through you.
This is so true I think differently of people with kids now. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of crime. It's called Los Angeles. So there's kind of a natural level of "on guardedness" that everybody carries. Plus you never know when you might be walking down the street and Steven Spielberg sees you and decides to put you in his next picture and you become rich and famous and win an Oscar, and marry Brad Pitt. He's so dreamy!
But I digress...
A lot of dudes walk around looking all hard and stuff like they're all angry and don't mess with them. But if they have a kid with them, I know they don't mean it. They got too much to lose.
Harper Jo is 16 months old now so I have no personal memory of what she's experiencing. So with things like walking, talking, learning to eat, sort, stack, I'm watching her master these skills somewhat vicariously. I envision myself as a toddler learning in these same ways. I picture my parents chasing me like we do Harper. And I wonder if they chased me in as much frustration as I do Harper. I can't imagine they muttered much of what I do. I don't say "so and so", I say what "so and so" means.
But when she turns three I'm going to stop creating fabricated memories and start comparing actual memories. How is her fourth year similar or dissimilar to my own? I may write a disertation. No I won't. Because I can't even spell dissertation. Oh wait. I guess I can. That's pretty cool.
I think it's going to be kind of weird to compare my faded and photocopied facsimile recollections of really being five years old to my clear, original third-person impressions of virtually being five years old. But so far it's been really fun to see her begin to enjoy things that I enjoyed so much. She loves climbing, and exploring, and laughing. I pray that she never stops doing any of the three.