The other night we were in a restaurant, no kids, and we heard a little boys uproarious laughing. He was giggling while he watched a little wind-up toy jump and flip in front of his hands. His youngish parents were enjoying his pleasure and delight and I found myself equally caught up in the spirit.
But, it also created a moment of melancholy as I reflected on how so many of those childhood joys were over with my boys. Now, honestly, there are many of those so-called passages that I certainly don’t miss. First on that list is the smell of baby wipes, and everything else that went with the diaper, poop, and changing stages. For years after they were toilet trained, I’d get a whiff of those smells, out of thin air, and breathe a sigh of relief that that phase was over.
For every one of those stages that I don’t miss are those, like in the restaurant, that I actually long for. Like when my boys would reach up and grab a hold of my hand. When walking hand-in-hand was special to them, even when they were so small that their arms were stretched up to reach my hand. I contrast that with my teen now, looking down on me, as I shake my finger up at him and announce “you’re grounded.”
If we’ve done our jobs right, this is exactly what is supposed to happen. But, darn if I don’t miss the kisses and hugs they’re just too old to give me anymore. Call me sentimental, even if I’m just a guy.