What Happens to Parents in June
Here's what happens to parents in June: We feel increasingly certain that our success as a parent is directly associated not with the content of our children's character, but rather with our ability to scour dusty boxes and lost computer files, organize all the adorable pictures of our children throughout their toothless and toothful stages, and present them in a sparkly hip slide show.
The list of ways in which I fall short as a parent is endless. I don't make slide shows; I don't even know which computer files (or which computer) holds the family photos. The video camera broke when Kid #2 was about four, so we have no moving record of Kid #3 at all. We live in an age where we must capture the most inanely insignificant moments (thereby giving them undue value), and it seems I have removed myself completely from this endeavor.
To a fault? I'm not one to mourn the passage of time. I don't yearn for the infant smell again. I don't miss kindergarten pilgrims. I've loved deeply every stage as we were experiencing it, and to me, that is enough. In fact, I can't wait to have three teenagers in the house. More to the point, I can't wait until they're all moved out, operating as independent humans, giving back to mankind. Will I then regret not having taken (and neatly filed away) more pictures?
Or perhaps: my selective and unreliable memory will whisper to me sweetly that they were always, always beautiful, both with teeth and without, in the way the wind caught their hair, in their wide-eyed fear of failure at the swimming pool's edge, in their tearful extremes of injustice, in Daddy's enormous cowboy boots, and ... in the content of their character.