Having a kid gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in chocolate ice cream topped with candy sprinkles, gummy bears and caramel popcorn, secretly thrill over the lamest of theme park rides, splash in an inflatable pool on an extremely hot afternoon, dress up for Halloween, and get a photo taken with Mickey Mouse!
I have a list, and a very long one, of things I want my son to experience. I want him to enjoy the same things I did growing up and now have very fond memories of. I remember weekend afternoons at the beach, picnics at Folks Art Theater (back when it still had plenty of open areas and the bay didn’t smell), playing in the rain, and just simply enjoying the wild outdoors, which was my lola’s vast backyard.
With my son, I get a second chance at childhood—plus more. Back then, there was no Disney Pixar, or Fun Ranch. There were no 3D movies or frozen yogurt with a dozen toppings, and enormous toy stores you could get lost in.
There maybe a 35-year gap between us, but my son and I are each other’s best buds. We hang together. And I get to see the world through his eyes.
To him, the simplest thing becomes an object of wonder like a dry leaf that fell on the road, a yellow Volkswagen beetle, or soap bubbles.
To him, happiness isn’t elusive. It’s as simple as riding a pedicab or getting a fresh sheet of paper to scribble on.
But when the pressures of adult life creep in sometimes, I force him to hurry along. I nag at him to pick up the pace when a five-minute walk to the street corner takes twice as long because he wants to stop and point out every little thing he sees. I get annoyed when he asks too many questions.
Then, I have to remind myself, he’s being himself—a child full of curiosity about world around him. I have to remind myself, this won’t last forever. Childhood is fleeting. And I should cherish my second chance at it. For when he grows older, I will also have to give up being young again.
*This blog entry also appeared in mommysteps.com.ph