Parenthood, In Two Words
When I announced my pregnancy back in December 2008, the responses were wide-ranging.
“Omigod, that’s scary,” Mr. Candy gulped.
“Huh? You… pregnant? Huh?” my mom mumbled, confused.
“THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE BEING PARENTS I AM GOING TO PASS OUT WITH HAPPINESS!” my mother-in-law screamed about her first grandchild between joyous tears in the middle of the Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Then there were my select childless friends — nay, my child-shunning friends — who mistakenly had me pegged as somebody that didn’t want kids. Maybe because I’ve been known to snuggle with a bottle of tequila at night. (Trust me, it will keep you warm.) Or because I used the oven for shoe storage. Or because I couldn’t even keep a plant alive. Whatever the reason, those friends tried to be happy for me, oh, how they tried, but the “congratulatory” look on their faces belied the question they were DYING to ask:
It’s not easy explaining why you’ve chosen to become a parent, especially to those who have never had the desire. Some people say they want their legacy to live on, or need somebody to look after them when they’re old and drooling and decrepit (lucky kids!), or seek a sense of “family” which, by their definition, requires the pitter-patter of little feet. Or that their condom broke. Now that I’ve been at this parenting thing for 14 months, however, I can tell you it all boils down to two words:
You see, we had an extra sock lying around — you can find pretty much anything lying around our place these days, except anything you might actually need or use — and Miss Skye thought she would be extra-stylish by trying to pull it on over her shoe. Nice to see her thinking outside of the box (why do we only wear the sock under the shoe, anyway?) but, turns out, it’s not the easiest style idea to execute. So I, being the fast-thinking fashionista that I am, put that sock on her hand instead.
People, she wore that sock on her hand for FOUR HOURS. Given the smile she had on her face, you would have thought I’d baked her a casserole made out of Cheerios, pickles and chocolate ice cream. But we all know that’s an absurd notion, mostly because I’d have to take the stilettos out of the oven to cook it.
She wore that hand sock around the house. She wore it to daycare. She wore it to Starbucks, where customers stared at her hand sock and smiled uncertainly. Yes, they thought my daughter was concealing a hook hand. HOW AWESOME IS THAT.
The sheer joy Skye took in wearing that sock on her hand — simple, unexpected joy that made me giggle all day — is what makes me sit back, my heart full, and smile, This is what it’s all about. I don’t think parenthood is for everyone, especially not for those who enjoy sleep and car seats without crusty milk; in fact, I TOTALLY get the decision to lead a child-less life. But to those who are dying to ask me, WHY?
Hand socks, baby.