I think I was looking forward to the wrong things.
When I found out Selah was going to be a girl, I was thrilled. I know, I’m a terrible feminist, but I couldn’t wait to dress her up in pretty clothes. It was going to be like having my very own living doll! People gave her gorgeous little dresses, and even tiny newborn ballet shoes.
I Really Did Love This Dress–and Shoes!
Well, it turned out Selah hated having her clothes changed when she was a baby. She would scream and wail whenever I changed her diaper, much less tried to pull a stiff, fancy dress over her head and button it up with the buttons that were on the back (!) of the garment.* Dressing up my baby was no fun at all.
When I knew all about what parenthood would be like before I had kids, I was excited about a lot of things that actually wound up sucking, or that I never got around to, or that turned out not to matter.
On the other hand, I never saw this coming. I was in the kitchen, putting away dishes while Selah put away silverware. She turned to me and said, “In Calvin and Hobbes, the mom told Calvin that he liked the food yesterday and wanted it for lunch and dinner, and he said, ‘Well, now I hate it.'” Selah laughed and laughed. “Aren’t you glad your kids aren’t like Calvin?”
She has started recounting stories to me, often stories I already love. I’ve laughed at that comic, too. I laughed now because my kids are exactly like Calvin. In fact, I think they have each done that exact thing to me within the past month. And I laughed because it is funny.
“I hope that when I have kids, they aren’t like Calvin. And if I ever have a son, I’m not naming him Calvin. But if I do, I’m going to name his sister Susie.”
And she likes to make the faces that Calvin makes
with the un-self-consciousness of a seven year old. Of my seven year old.
And I laugh and I laugh, and it’s not because of Calvin.
*There is a special hell for people who design clothes for babies and design them so that you have to button the back of a garment worn by a person who can’t even hold her own head up, let alone her whole upper body.