Style.com has an interesting article asking if you are jealous of your child. At first I’m sure you’re thinking ‘no, stupid question’. But if you’re like me a second or two later you think ‘yeah, maybe’ (and not just about the amount of time they spend with your better half).
Part of it is being a Dad (or Mom) where you’re shouldering all the responsibilities. Your children aren’t thinking about college, mortgage payments, the economy, how Grandma and Grandpa are doing in this economy or their health. The kids are thinking about video games, TV and what they are going to get for their birthdays.
Then you read the article and realize that they are talking about the ‘my kid is better than me’ or ‘my kid is better than I was at that age’. I’m not sure I agree with that with my kids. They are different, have different skills, interests and weaknesses. Yes they get to do things that we didn't, but there are also things we did and experienced that they probably won't.
Plus I’m over 40 now so hindsight always makes you be better than you really were right?
I first read the article last Wednesday. I thought about it a little bit on the way home, but started thinking of it a lot when I got home and started helping with homework. Then I realized that while I am jealous of some of the things they have and are able to do, I have no intention of going through the ‘growing up’ again.
Meghan is now a freshman in high school. I remember that age. And I hated it. I pretty much hated everything about High School until I met Deb. Then things became tolerable. While I like to ask questions about the school and the kids and what they are doing, I really don’t want to do it again. However, I remember how important it is to have someone to talk to so I ask lots of questions. Being a young lady she has different problems than I did at that age, but Deb shares a lot of the same dislike for that age.
Courtney and Christopher each have their own challenges now. Less so for the little guy, but I know that they are coming.
One advantage of having children though, is I can enjoy some of the things they are taking for granted by doing it with them. I probably wouldn’t admit it to Courtney, but I like the ‘dug out dude’ thing. First because I get to do something with her, but secondly because I get to be part of a sports team again. I ‘dragged’ Meghan to see the latest Harry Potter movie because I wanted to see it.
Having a toddler means you don’t have to grow up right? So showing your food, making farting noises with your armpit, throwing dinner rolls at the kids are all fair game right? So for a few minutes I get to be silly and not worry about everything.
So, yes I am somewhat jealous of my kids. But I also understand that while I’d like some of the things they have or get to do, I don’t want to go through what they are going to do again. I'll help and support them as they do it, but no way would I do it again.