I share your chin-strokes over growth-spurts, school choices, and ridiculous tantrums best ignored, but less so your anxiety over balancing career with children.
The gender-heavy aisle division of toys and clothes arches my brow, too; but I don’t think about it for very long.
I’m a mother, but identify more with being a parent.
I covet your homemade cakes, but there’s not a snowball’s (mmmm..snowballs) chance in hell I’ll get round to baking one.
I, too, feel my identity under attack, but more for reasons of rootlessness than feeling arrested.
For every on-line high-five exchanged between you, I have a momentary awkward hover over the ‘like’ button out of a weird sense of manners.
My child is tall. She has deep brown eyes, a thousand yard stare, and long fly-away hair that grows at a rate of an acre an hour. That’s probably as far as I can go public with a visual of her.
Being fortunate to have a child has affected me profoundly also. I can frequently be found looking through every photo of her from birth but the feelings are bigger than the vocabulary available to me, and I’ve given up the search for it.
My guilt is mainly the retrospective kind; the futile sort. It hits when I think of the state of my savings and former life-long propensity for living-in-the-moment that risks threatening the quality of rainy days.
They say fluency in any language comes with practice. I’ve never had a flair for any; it took me a year to master broken parenting, and I read it better than I speak it. I’ve plateaued at reasonable working proficiency but doubt I’ll ever hold my own with the natives, no matter how welcoming and friendly they are.