Lindsey from “A Design So Vast” wrote a very succinct post on the early years of parenting after reading another inspiring post from Amy at “Never True Tales”.
In a strange way this echos for me as well. I say “strange” because the posts epitomize womanhood, yet I’m a man.
There were long nights that felt like those that fall on the arctic where I would hover over the crib to soothe the baby, swaying like a drunk man from the lack of sleep. From her post I remember the same sand burnt eyes, the same smells and how that baby smell is like no other. I even recall the same confidence and fear that somehow intermingle at that time in life.
There was a tenderness both in me and in others that eroded over time. People seemed kinder and gentler then, and even euphonised their snide and hurtful remarks about our already large family (if you call two children a large family) if not withheld them altogether.
A little older, there’s already a longing for those times. I play with thoughts and memories like a young boy’s wish to travel back in time or to another world altogether, but unlike that boy I know each moment is different and there’s no return. My children are a little older now, so there’s still some magic left in my house, but at my age – at their ages – the end of that tunnel is blinding; it strikes me with a disquieted remorse that only comes out in deep quivering sighs.
As a man there’s supposed to be a hardened-steel strength that masks these emotions in some supernatural science-fiction Spock-like manner… but it still shows. Our wrinkled and melancholy eyes from the years of laughter and tears betray us to those who look deeply. Other men, thinking they were wild and free, were blindly shackled to a hard loneliness that comes from being childless, or shirking their children, and hardens even more with age until all that’s left is bitterness or, if they’re fortunate enough to possess a kind heart, remorse.