I had a dream years ago that I lived in a huge house with many bedrooms. And there was a crying baby in each room. I ran from room to room, feeding one baby after the other, and then I forgot which ones had not been fed, because they all kept crying. I think I had the dream because I wanted to start a family, and I was apprehensive about my ability to care for a baby.
Since then, I have raised two children to adulthood, and I don't recall ever forgetting to feed them. They seem to have a built-in alarm system when they are hungry, no matter how old they are.
Last summer, I was invited to a party at a house with an address that was familiar to me. As I parked my car, I realized my hunch was correct. It was the home where my babies were born nearly 25 years ago. I didn't know the owners, but I had to tell them my story and ask for a tour.
Obviously, after all those years, there were a lot of changes made to the house. But the most important room to me was the nursery. I visualized the crib and the "big-boy bed" side by side, with the rocking chair in the corner. I especially loved to rock my babies, so I stood there basking in that memory as long as I could.
The room is now occupied by a miniature schnauzer named Stan, and he is apparently not a fan of Winnie The Poo, as the nursery décor I had chosen was gone.
When I think about their childhood, I wonder if I forgot to teach my kids something important -- like not preparing raw meat and fresh produce on the same cutting board. And I can't help chastising myself for not making them floss their teeth as often as they should.
Parents often say there is no job bigger or more daunting than raising a child. Being president of the United States might be the exception. However, that job doesn't last 18 years.
As a recovering perfectionist, I've learned to look back on my parenting performance as being the best I could do, at the time. A wise soul once told me if you enjoy being around your kids, you are doing a good job.
And considering how much I look forward to spending time with my adult sons, I would have to say I agree. In the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh, "Some people care too much. I think it's called love.
I bet even Stan would wag his tail about that.
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