It happened sooner than we all expected, but February marked the birth of my beautiful young niece, Scarlett. Her birth was not without incident or challenge, but I can happily say that she’s doing marvelously now and she’s growing faster than I can even really wrap my head around.
That’s the scary thing about kids to me. I’ve been around for nearly 27 years and it’s all felt like a blink in time. One second I was a kid in Miami and now I’m an adult in Baltimore. Just like that. Scarlett was born premature and she was tiny. She’s still rather small, but she’s nothing at all like she was almost a year ago. There’s a personality there. She can kind of babble and walk with support. This was a girl I saw on a ventilator unable to take in real food.
Crazier still is that Scarlett’s not even my daughter. I find myself freaked out at the prospect of her growing up in this crazy world all on her own and I’m not even responsible for her. Mostly it makes me think about whether or not I could actually handle taking care of an actual human being. Raising it to be a person and hopefully guiding them along the right path. How do you even approach that kind of thing?
When I look at Eric and Danielle I don’t really worry about it. They’ve always acted more mature than their age to me. What’s there to adapt when you’ve acted like you were in your mid-30s since you were 22, you know? There’s a balance that I don’t really understand yet and I suppose it really has to do with how you want to spend your time. Since neglecting your children and your job aren’t really options if you want to not be a deadbeat, then everything else is a question of sacrifice. The balance doesn’t seem impossible. I’ve got plenty of friends, like Sean and Jessica, who still find the time to be social human beings while having children. Even my own parents found the time to see their friends and party with family (much to their children’s boredom).
Family life is obviously a distant worry in my mind considering where I am today, but the prospect of handling it seems more doable and more terrifying the older I get. Seeing friends happily married and friends already divorced or struggling through their newly-made vows doesn’t make it any easier (and I’m sure I’ll get back to this topic for Lee and Yin’s wedding), but when I see cute, tiny little Scarlett smile and laugh…that’s when I start to understand the reason why people undertake this madness.
Photo by Eric Mesa (DJOtaku)