Half Over – A Mid-Parenting Crisis

This is it; the halfway point. It has taken so long to get here, but where has the time gone? Tomorrow Ruby will turn 9. Half of her childhood will be gone. And since she had a leap year in her first, fifth, and now ninth years, but will have only two more childhood leapyears ahead of her, technically midday today is the halfway point. It’s all going away. I can feel her tugging at the seams of her youth, and she is both horrified as the fabric starts to give way, and yet also enjoying that little thrill one gets from pulling a string all the way out as you watch the garment dissolve. Halfway.

18 years, 18 years – She got one of your kids, got you for 18 years…

Oh Kanye, you speak as though 18 years were a lifetime, and not the ephemeral gossamer moment of youth. You sing as though you might not be able to wait for those dozen and a half years to be over with, so that you could reclaim your life, but then you wrote those lyrics before your children were born. Do you still feel the same way now? Because, gold digger or not, it isn’t “she” that truly has the claim on you for those 18 years, but rather “they,” your children. And they do claim you, I am well aware. And perhaps in another 9 years I will be appropriately ready for my daughter to spread her wings and fly out of here as she finds her own place in the world that isn’t mine. But today I am not ready. Today that thought is terrifying and maddening and devastating.

I suppose it is good that I am not ready to say goodbye to daily adventures with my children just yet. After all, I am only halfway through. And after Ruby leaves, there will be three more years of us and Edward. This is not the time to be done with it. If people are reading the book you’ve written and they are ready to put it down halfway through, you have a problem. It’s never a good sign when people start looking at their watches halfway through the movie. So actually, this is a good thing. This wishing that it would never end just means I’m in the middle of the best story I’ve ever told. Now all I have to do is set us up for a satisfying conclusion.

It’s not time to wrap up all of the plot threads just yet. But it is time to be thinking about what events are going to set those final chapters in motion. I can already see the foreshadowing, and it looks as though the second half is going to be slightly more intense than the first. Good. We need to keep it interesting to hold everyone’s attention. So for the moment, I will try to enjoy the middle. I will look back on the past 9 years, and I will look forward to the next. I’m right where I’m supposed to be, feeling how I ought to be feeling. Happy Birthday Ruby. It’s half over.

Posted in Birthdays, Parenting, Ruby, Time.


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