A baby or a child is much like a blank page in a story. As a writer, they both can make you wonder where the story will lead.
My sister just had a baby boy. And her older son is ten. I see the ten year old and think about how much we've done with him. I look at the new baby and think there's so much we will do. There is so much road ahead for the both of them even though they are at two different stages in life. The ten year old is independent and can fulfill his own needs. He can feed himself, do his homework, trouble shoot computer issues on the laptop, he's a very bright kid. The baby, meanwhile, is dependent on someone to fulfill his handful of needs.
I look at them just starting their lives and I want to tell them to savor every moment of childhood. Don't rush through it. And if you find something you like to do, pursue it with every iota of your being. Don't wait to fulfill your dreams.
This is not the first time I've felt this nostalgic tug. When we were at Lollapalooza, I looked around at all the young teens, who danced, drank and smoked their way through the three days of the fest and thought how easy they had it. All that mattered to them was the present. Does that boy like me? Where can I get a beer? What band should we see next? None of them are sitting around waxing poetic about the state of the environment, how they're going to pay the mortgage that month or whether or not that pain in their chest is the heart attack they've been expecting.
My sister and I are seven years apart in age and best friends. We have a strong bond based on our upbringing and we share a lot of the same views. But, we are also very different when it comes to our interests. We can look at each other and say exactly what's on our minds even if it means we won't agree. We can throw our hands up in the air when either one of us is stubborn and throw our arms around any task we need to tackle as a team. We are the same yet different.
I may be going through some sort of midlife crisis. I have been romanticizing over getting a sports car lately. I realize how much time I've wasted not writing seriously over the last twenty years or so. Yet I am determined to make sure I fulfill my own dreams while coaxing my nephews to do the same.
It's exciting to see their lives unfold like chapters in a novel.
I look at her boys and wonder: will the second one go down the same roads as the first or will they be completely different?
I'm just glad we get to help write their stories.