For gifts, I give people tchochkes
With pictures of my kids on them.
This year for Christmas
It was one of those mugs you can
Put pictures of your kids on and,
In just a few tips and taps of your keyboard,
Be done with your holiday shopping in like
Did I stop to think about whether
Another coffee mug?
I assumed that,
Because these are picture of
They’d be interested.
I’m pretty sure,
Actually really like the mugs.
But I felt a little sheepish
Handing over the two
Uniform little boxes to my
Brother and his fiancee,
Who had gotten everyone in our
Individual they might actually like.
“Even when it’s a gift for you,
It’s about us,”
I joked as they
Admired the mugs after
Prying them out of the unbreakable
I don’t have time to think about
Much else besides
Keeping my kids and myself
No small feat.
But I do recognize that
It must get tiring for people to
Ask how things are going,
And have me talk
New sports season starting up,
All the school closings this winter.
When people tell me
About stuff going on in their lives,
I’m really good at
Co-opting their experience
And providing a corollary about my kids:
“You say you’re recovering from a
Car accident that almost killed you
And left you fighting for your very life?
My son’s favorite movie used to be Cars!
He was really scared of that scene
Where the semi-trucks fall asleep on the road…
I bet you get why!
I’m starting to realize
(And this is not to news to
Childless people, I’ll bet)
That most selfless of activities,
Actually makes people
Self-centered, not less.
How can this be,
Imagining scenarios in which you’d
For your child?
Here’s how I see things:
I pretty much think of my kids as
Part of me.
Maybe it’s because they came out of my body.
This is mostly a good thing.
It’s what makes me sure I’d
Jump into oncoming traffic to snatch my child
Out of danger.
Or scrape poop off my 1yo’s butt with the
Edge of his wet diaper
(Because I can’t find the wipes)
Then go finish eating my dinner
Without gagging once.
Same with boogers.
Your kid’s boogers?
My kid’s boogers?
Whatev. I’ll blow my nose in that tissue later
‘Cause they’re practically
See how this works?
So if my kids are
Part of me,
Has now expanded to
Include my kids.
Now instead of one
You get a three-fer.
I’m not really sure what the
Point of thinking myself into this
Paradox has been
Except to acknowledge the grumblings of the
Childless population who
Complain about how
Oblivious parents can be to
Anyone around them except their
I’m not wishing this parenting time away
Because I know these years and days and minutes are
But it will be nice,
Once the daily tornado of child-rearing is over,
To come up from the cellar
And have a nice chat with my neighbors