For every one of the stages I don't miss are those that I actually long for.
Bruce Sallan: The other night, my wife and I were in a restaurant, no kids, and we heard a little boy laughing uproariously. He was giggling while he watched a little wind-up toy jump and flip in front of him. His youngish parents were enjoying his pleasure and delight, and I found myself equally caught up in the spirit.
But it also created a moment of melancholy as I reflected on how so many of those childhood joys were over with my boys. Now, honestly, there are many of those so-called passages that I certainly don't miss. First on that list is the smell of baby wipes, and everything else that went with the diaper, poop, and changing stages. For years after they were toilet-trained, I'd get a whiff of those smells, out of thin air, and breathe a sigh of relief that that phase was over.
For every one of the stages I don't miss are those, like in the restaurant, that I actually long for. Like when my boys would reach up and grab ahold of my hand. When walking hand-in-hand was special to them, even when they were so small that their arms were stretched up to reach my hand. I contrast that with my teen now, looking down on me, as I shake my finger up at him and announce "you're grounded."
If we've done our jobs right, this is exactly what is supposed to happen. But, darn if I don't miss the kisses and hugs they're just too old to give me anymore. Call me sentimental, even if I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|