Since my wordless curse-out at DD in the city, I decided to have some snootier (and more burnt) coffee at Starbucks during my lunch break today. Behind me was a mom and a really cute, rose-cheeked baby with bright blue eyes, just kind of gurgling and playing with his toes. If you saw Up All Night, there was a sock joke in there, and now I find myself enticed by cute little baby socks.
Disclaimer: I’m not an obsessed, middle-aged, where-are-my-five-babies kind of woman. Actually, I don’t know this type of woman outside of stereotypes on TV and film. I had a brief moment–a few months, really–in my mid-20s where I felt a pull toward children. It passed, and I haven’t felt it since. And this is the last year there will be a 3 starting my age. Anyway, for years, I could take kids or leave them. They didn’t impact my life at all and mostly I felt bad for the parents, who probably were forced into the job about 10 years too soon. But I’ve now seen a number of close friends have babies and raise children–many of whom are teenagers now (this is mind-blowing to me–not that they’re teenagers but that I’m old enough to know my friends’ teenagers). It’s given me perspective on what a tough, malleable, never ending responsibility parenthood is. I respect my friends like crazy. I pray for them. I blindly offer to help them.
I also try to pay it forward with good cheer for parents around my age. So I’m at Starbucks today, going for yes, another holiday drink, hoping enough syrup will keep their signature decaf iced coffee from tasting like it’s been brewing for three days and set on fire for one. So I turn to the mother of Lil’ Blue Eyes and after sizing up the color and make of the carriage, the baby’s clothing and his facial features, coo, “He’s adorable, may I ask how old is he?”
Mom, chuckling: “Oh, he’s six months!”