It is 2 AM and we are up. Cashew and I. I fell asleep on the couch around 10:30 and then T and I headed to bed around 12:00. But that was it. From there I couldn't sleep and neither could Cashew. So here I am sitting on the couch with a laptop and a kitty (Jazzy is sound asleep next to me). I have on some weird Discovery Channel show that is filling up the quiet space and I am about to refill my water jug. Although I feel a little heavy in the eye lids, sleep doesn't seem to be in my near future. Not sure what is keeping me awake all these nights. Anticipation? Anxiety? The lists of to-do's in my head? Who knows. But I have found that I do pretty well functioning on very little sleep - the more sleep I do get, the more tired I feel during the day. So I guess it all works out in the end...if there is an end.
I was thinking, which is all I ever seem to do any more, about what my parents (and other parents) must feel as their children grow up. It is such an intense feeling to have a real human in your stomach - moving, growing, etc. I can only imagine that this feeling will be one that will never be forgotten. When your child goes to kindergarten. When they start high school. When they drive a car at 16. When they tell you they "hate you" and slam their bedroom door. When they get married. When they have their own children. That memory of your baby being tucked safely away in your stomach with not a thought in their heads. They are relying on you completely and have no idea the world they will be entering. They have no idea the challenges that lie ahead in life and they have no idea how much their parents love them before they are even considered a true fetus. It is amazing, isn't it? When the bratty teenager screams at their parents because they feel their parents "don't understand," that parent's heart breaks. That is the baby that they carried for nine months. That is the baby that loved them unconditionally for a period of time. The baby that relied on that parent for all the basic necessities of life.
I guess that's why it is always hard for me to imagine these kids that end up hurting, or even killing, their parents. I know they are very disturbed which was probably caused by the way they were parented (or not parented) throughout their life. But some just do it because they get mixed in with the wrong crowd at school. How do you destroy the one or ones that gave you life? So sad. But I think that's the negative of a baby not remembering those times that they were so dependent on their parents. Do you realize that your memory really doesn't kick in until you are old enough to strive for your own independence? Tatum doesn't really remember anything before four years old. At that point, she was already seeking some independence and was developing her own self will. Kids don't remember the dependency of being in the womb. Of relying on their mother to feed them, to deliver them, to change them, to dress them. These memories are non-existent. They only remember from a certain time that is typically around the four to five year old.
I just find the whole thing fascinating. All the work parents put into their babies at an early age definitely helps development but does it help with the end result? The end personality? Maybe. Or is their personality and their self will based on their surroundings which, throughout life, is mostly school. How do you remind your kids about the sacrifices you made and how dependent they were on you for most of their early years? And do they even care?
I guess all these deep thoughts lead to the fact that I appreciate my parents so much. I feel like I have appreciated them for many years now but I will admit I wasn't a good teenager. What teenager is good? I regret the way I treated my parents for all those hormonal, zit-filled years. I can't imagine the pain I put them through and the heartbreak they endured. I have heard from many people that you appreciate your parents so much more when you have your own kids. I haven't even had Cashew yet and I can tell you my appreciation for my parents has intensified greatly. And I am deeply sorry for any and all pain that I ever caused them in my life.
I know it won't be easy raising a child. There will be times that I will have to endure the "I hate you"s and the "you just don't understand"s. But I hope that I can remember the times that I went through those horrible hormonal, high school days and then look at the wonderful relationship I have with my parents now. I can only hope that Cashew will eventually turn around when all of the hormones settle and be my friend and my "baby" again.
I know I am thinking way ahead of things but a baby is only a baby for so long. And time flies. So I am just looking ahead to those harder years. Plus, what else am I going to do at 2:30 AM? Might as well do some forecasting.
All I can say is, at least when Cashew is hating life and hating me, I won't be pregnant so I will be able to have an adult beverage with my sweetie and chalk it up to karma!