I have to keep reminding myself that humans beings do not procreate solely for their own personal fulfillment. If that was the case, we'd rue the milestones instead of celebrating them. We'd be too fearful of progress to foster our children's independence like we need to. We'd live in the past and the future, with only a high, rickety bridge spanning the present. If we had kids for our sake instead of theirs, the speed of their growth would render us immobile.
But the point of parenthood isn't permanent attachment. The point is, from the very first moment, letting go.
Right now, holding my second child, I am all too aware that he will only be this small for a short time. I may never have another teeny tiny baby to care for in the same way. I hate nevers. I hate endings. I hate overs. And I could get caught up in all those things if I didn't remind myself that what we have here is my baby's beginning. It's his chance to live what I pray will be a long, thrilling life. His infancy, his childhood, his teenage years...they will be bittersweet for me but for him they will be the foundation he doesn't even know is being built beneath him and his first car, his first kiss, his first job, his first day on his own.
Being a parent is about being a parent. It's not about being ourselves, with all our inherent needs and wishes. That's a tough idea to swallow, especially now when I'm 10 days post-partum and prone to way too much introspection, but it's liberating, too. This is not about me! This is a whole new ball of ear wax!
Yes, the Partner and I made this little guy. That much is about us. But the little guy is the one who is going to make a life.