Being a Parent

Sebastien’s interview today went well. They asked for references and his availability, always good signs when walking out of an interview, even if you don’t walk out with an offer on the table. Since the signs were so favorable, Sabs immediately leapt into, “I need to make myself readily available” mode and started calling around for daycare referrals so that he could tell the hiring folks that yes, we had daycare lined up if they call back. Within minutes he’d gotten the number of a place right up the street, and off we went to squeeze in a whirlwind tour before I had to leave to go to the office.

Interviewing a daycare provider has left me with a very odd mixture of feelings. First of all, I never thought that I’d find myself in the position of needing to interview a daycare provider. I always assumed that by the time we got around to having children, I’d be able to stay home at least part time to care for them. I have to admit that I’m less than pleased that we may need to put Vic in daycare, but I realize that it’s a necessity in order for us to accomplish many other things that will make life nicer for all of us, including Vic, later on.

Second, as often keeps happening to me these days when I have adult decisions to make, I find myself blinking in astonishment to find that yes indeed, I am an adult, being responsible and weighing both the present and the future in my decisions. “How did I get here?” I find myself thinking at the back of my mind. “When did I turn into my mom?” is the corollary to that. I’m a parent now. I’m the mom. I’m the one who has to squint sideways at the seemingly nice lady who runs the daycare to try to figure out if she’s all she’s cracked up to be, or a calculated risk for my child.

Third, I’ve been thinking lately that getting out more would be good for Vic. He’s almost nine months old and hasn’t had much contact with other people, other children. He does get some interaction with other folks from the confines of the sling, our arms or the stroller, or through random encounters in shops or at the park. However, these are inconsistent encounters, not a sustained contact with others and I think he’s old enough now that he could benefit from some sustained interaction with other children especially, to help him broaden his worldview beyond the few blocks around our house, the house, the cats and us.

This idea also comes into direct conflict with a fairly powerful protective instinct — the one that makes me want to erect a fortress for us to hide in until Vic is 18 years old, the one I have to say “hush” to quite vehemently so that I won’t turn into one of those uber-overprotective mothers who never lets her kids do anything, much less anything fun.

I think perhaps, that this, this being torn between things, while trying to do the best for your child, is the hardest part of being a parent. The sleepless nights are difficult, the life-changes are a big adjustment to make. But the constant need to answer the question: “What is best for my child?” that’s the really hard part, because every day, that sweet face and cute smile make you fall in love all over again with this little being you’ve brought into the world. The fear of doing something potentially harmful to someone you love so much, out of ignorance, or lack of care, or simply not doing enough, is a powerful emotion indeed.


W2

In other news, I got my W2 at work today and did a guesstimate run at our taxes for the year. The ballpark amount we should get back is dizzying and ought to take care of the last of the debt once and for all. I wish we could take this money we’re getting back to the bank and leave it there to grow, but instead, we’ll use it to wipe the rest of the slate clean. This will leave us only owing my Dad, even if it is a sizeable sum. But a personal loan doesn’t show up on your credit report anywhere.

Once that remainder of bank loan is paid off, we get to scrub the report clean over the next few years.

It’s a very freeing feeling. From here on out, all the extras that come our way can get squirreled away, carefully watered in savings or other conservative means of letting money grow slowly, to build the nest egg we should have been building all along, to help lend wind to the sails of our dreams.

Somewhere on that wind, I can see a house drifting to and fro gently, come closer and closer, into better focus.

Some day. Some day.