My eldest hits 10 this week. There’s something about society looking at the X0 ages as big stepping stones. I think it’s mostly about easier math, cause I can easily think of 2010 and what was going on. The summer was a heat wave, everyone in the social group was having kids, and I went through a massive career shift in the fall. With the support of my wife, in the first year I pushed extremely hard to get progress then, which I knew I’d be unable to do with a kid running around. It’s paid off, and today I have the flexibility to spend more time with the family.
My eldest has seen some really crazy stuff. She has little concept of a disconnected world. For the longest time she didn’t understand that her grandparent didn’t have access to the internet. Social Media has exploded in her lifetime, and kids her age end up watching TikTok, or some other insanity. She gets annoyed at TV ads but will accept ads on YouTube. I think we’ve done a decent job at balancing real world and connected world, since she’s not bugging us for a phone. She can follow, or she can lead. She shares a lot of my passions, and has plenty of her own that I try my best to support.
The most fulfilling bit is seeing the sense of discovery in her eyes when she finds something I take for granted. She (her sister and friends) fully dissected a fish at the cottage this weekend, and it was as if they had found hidden treasure. The first time she rode her bike alone, her eyes were like saucers. When she build a brand new tower in Minecraft that has a secret passage… it’s like showing me a new puppy.
Oh, there are days where she can drive me up the wall. There are days where I drive myself up the wall, so that’s sort of part of the game. I know there’s only a finite amount of time left where time together is assured. Eventually she will spend more time with friends, have a job, and eventually university or other. Eventually she will spread her wings and I will sit here with my wife and watch her soar, hoping I did good enough to keep her in flight towards happiness.
But that day is not today. Today I get to appreciate the time I have, the opportunities COVID has presented to be with my family. I can see her every day try, fall, get up, and grow. I can share in her success and her stumbles. And while this post references my eldest, it applies equally to my youngest… but it’s my eldest’ milestone.
And this milestone is just a reminder of how lucky I am to have a great wife and two amazing kids.