I was told many things about parenting, but two thoughts are often missing. First, you’ll see time fly. Yes, time always flies, but now it eats and poops and says new words, and then poops again, gets bigger, and learns something new. Then the day is gone, and the next day ushers more novelty unlike the days before. Before becoming a father, there was a casual monotony in my everyday that made any of the last ten years seem indistinguishable. Sometimes I can’t tell if a memory belongs to 2006 or 2013. But now time is encapsulated in a small but growing body; a recall trick that reminds me exactly what year it is by association of its temporal embodiment. A good reminder that we are all creatures of time.
The second realization was how terribly easy it is to hand down our anxieties to our children. This process resembles how children are socialised to associate emotions to various situations. If I, the father, have a fear of spiders, my reaction is appropriated by my two-year old who's scanning my face to emulate a response and decipher its meaning. Though temperament will undoubtedly factor in the child’s reaction, I fear parents (or caregivers) may belittle the fact that they are the physical embodiment of their children’s sense of security - always and everywhere.