Some friends of ours are getting ready to have their second child. My husband and I saw them recently at a party, and shame on us for doing so, but we went on and on about how much harder life is with two kids versus one. We had no right in saying a word, especially considering my husband is one of ELEVEN children, and his parents were only a few feet away. How in the world they raised that many kids, all running about in (GASP!) cloth diapers, is beyond comprehension. As if couples don’t have enough to bicker about, without having to figure out which one of you is going to scrub the poop out of everyone’s pants.
But, there were a lot of things our parents didn’t have to do. I don’t remember my Mom driving me much of anywhere past the age of eight. If I wanted to go somewhere I either walked or pedaled there. I barely got a, “See ya”, along with my swift kick out the door as I was sent to, “Go play somewhere”. Our parents weren’t bad parents, they were normal parents. It was great to live that way as a kid. We got to BE kids. It was not a problem for us to leave the house after breakfast, go to the pool all day, come home for dinner, then leave immediately after for a game of Kick the Can or baseball. Things didn’t change as I got older either. Even at the awkward age of 15, I rode my bike to work at an old folks restaurant…hairnet, apron, and all. Oh, that’s not embarrassing.
Now, things are different. If my daughter wants to go to the pool or the park, I have to drive her there, because it’s just not safe for her to ride her bike (though if we did ride our bikes, we’d be sure to wear our helmets, which either no one cared about or didn’t exist when I was young). But, I can’t just throw her into the back of a pick-up truck, which is how we often got from place to place. I have to put her and her brother in car seats, with SEAT BELTS. Here’s the kicker…I have to actually STAY with her and supervise her. Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen! You know what kind of sunscreen I wore when I was a kid? It was called a t-shirt.
For better or worse, parents must be involved with their kids in ways they didn’t have to when we were growing up. In today’s modern world, we have to micro-manage their lives. So, to our friends I’ll say this…it’s not that you won’t have enough love to give, it’ll just be hard finding time to give it.