Friday, January 22, 2010

My Life at Three

            Michelle told me that two different people said to her today that, “Celia is sure impatient.”
            I told Michelle, “What do you expect? She’s her father’s daughter. She’s also way more energetic, smiley, and smart than other kids.”
            Michelle nodded, “True.”
            Celia takes after me in many ways. She’s definitely a high-energy kid. Not that all kids aren’t full of energy, but when I watch her around other kids, I definitely see an edge to her. She could easily run back and forth through the house for an hour. She’s constantly full of clamor and commotion.
            A good family friend was telling me, when we were still only pregnant (which feels like a decade ago), that she had the pleasure of babysitting me when I was three and she was pregnant with her first (my friend Tim). She’d thought to herself, “This is great. I’ll get to see what it’s like to have a three-year-old.”
            After two hours she was completely exhausted. I’d been bouncing off the walls and running her ragged. A loud, high energy monster, wreaking havoc on the play area.
            As she told me the story, she smiled, “And then, one day when Tim was three years old I had a flashback and remembered that time I’d babysat you, and realized, ‘Oh, that’s just Ephie.’ Tim was so much calmer!”
            It was good to hear those kinds of stories before we had Celia. It mentally prepared me for the bundle of energy that my daughter is. But it’s funny, because when I was talking to my dad over Christmas, it was like he’d had a completely different experience.
            He said to me, “When you were kids, you didn’t cry nearly as much as Celia.”
            I looked at him with raised eyebrows. How could he say that? Was it really true? He also said many other things, about how much easier we were than Celia, or how we’d never get into trouble – once he spanked us, we never touched things again.
            I had to know if there was any truth to his stories, so I went to our close family friends, who’d lived with us until I was twelve. “Now be frank,” I said to them, explaining what my dad had told me, “What was it really like?”
            They chuckled and shook their heads in disbelief, “It was nothing like that. You boys were a handful. Always getting into things. It’s your dad who isn’t remembering.”
            I thought so. The way he’d been going on, I was beginning to wonder if we’d even pooped our pants! I guess time heals the memories, and only the best ones remain. That makes a lot of sense. Already, I’m finding myself glamorizing the early days with Celia, and remembering all the fond moments. It’s only when I dig a little deeper that I remember the fear and insecurity of how to deal with the unknown.
            We may remember only the good things, but one thing is for sure, I think I’ll always remember just how special this little girl of mine is.

No comments:

Post a Comment