As I sit here watching my beautiful little angel puff attempting to eat his Disney pasta and peas, I can’t help but reminisce of a specific moment in my life. It was right after my wisdom teeth had been taken out. I was attempting to feed myself some Kraft Mac and Cheese (THE BEST PASTA IN A BOX EVER), but was so discombobulated that I couldn’t find my mouth. It was so frustrating. I was starving and all I wanted more than anything in the world was the delicious, orange, mushy-ness in my pie hole. Instead, I stabbed my cheeks repeatedly with four tiny knives like a drunken idiot.
I have these “remember when” moments a lot when watching Jack. His “Ah-screw it. I’ll eat with my hands” mentality is both disgusting and refreshing. I remember when I could care less if I threw my shoes off by kicking them against a wall leaving a print. I remember spilling a drink and just moving along like nothing ever happened. Nothing to see here, folks. When Jack sees something he wants, he instantly drops whatever he is holding to the ground and chases the new interesting item. When he’s finished with his drink, he casts it to the floor like it never meant anything to him anyway. He’s not worried about hurting anyone’s feelings. He certainly doesn’t care if it hurts when he hits mommy in the face while attempting to remove her glasses. In fact, the more intense of a reaction he gets, the more hilarious he thinks he is.
The best part about my little man is the positive reactions to the tiniest things. Today, we made a very miniature blanket fort under his Momo blanket. Just us, my hands, and ours heads holding it up. He was amazed at the new world we discovered in our tent and was excited to go in and out of Blanketland at his leisure. He also discovered that he can hide behind curtains like they’re some sort of invisibility cloak. When I discovered him hiding there, his eyes lit up.
There is a line in the movie Knocked Up that really spoke to me. I know it’s a pretty weird film to “get” something out of, but it had some really good serious moments. A little girl was so excited about blowing bubbles. Her dad goes, “I wish I was that excited about bubbles. I wish I was that excited about anything.” Me too, brother. Me too. We have all forgotten that feeling. Imagine going under a blanket and getting so excited that you literally squeal with delight. That’s the thing about children though. Jack gets me excited about the little things too. I can almost see moments through his big blue eyes. I imagine it’s pretty outstanding to experience a sheet fort for the first time, or to discover that people can’t see you when you’re standing behind a curtain. The problem is once we reach a certain age, there aren’t that many “firsts” left to experience. They’re all old news to us adults who need new experiences to be stimulated.
My toddler reminds me to look forward to firsts. Firsts are the reason I want to travel or try a new restaurant or see a new movie. Firsts are incredible moments that must be found in adulthood. Firsts don’t just pop up every day like they used to. We have to seek them out. When I became I parent, though, I got to experience firsts all over again. Every time Jack does anything for the first time, I am reminded of my own. Obviously, I don’t remember the first time I walked or ate with a fork or when the only word I would say was my dog’s name (Oh, wait. That’s Jack. Not me.), but I do remember how it felt to climb through a vinyl pop-out tunnel and imagine I was coming out in a parallel universe. As Jack gets older, he will experience even more firsts and I will get to relive mine. Second firsts are even better because now, I appreciate what they mean. I know that he will never get them back, but maybe he will relive them with his own baby. I know that firsts can turn a toddler into a boy and a boy into a man. So, here’s to the first time Jack will smear poop on my wall.
Here’s to the first time he get’s dumped. Who are we kidding? Here’s to the first time he has to break up with someone. Here’s to the first time Jack tells me he loves me or calls me mommy or performs in a talent show or hits a homerun. Here’s to the first firsts and the second firsts-because they’re all important.