Twenty Years of Parenting

It’s official. Today is the 20th anniversary of my giving birth to our oldest child. Our first son.

Let us pause and think how surreal this all is.

I now have one less teenager in the house. Well, for a few weeks. Then Maura turns 13 and I can make even more people feel older than they should. Because if I’m going down, I’m taking all my friends who waited until their 30’s to have babies with me.


Just last week I got a “You don’t look old enough to have kids that old.” and I was like “I LOVE YOU MY NEW FAVORITE PERSON!”

Because twenty years of parenting…it takes it toll.

I can look back now and say “Wow…we were young, weren’t we?’ Did not help that I have always looked young for my age (annoying when you’re newly 21 and just want to get into a bar to have a drink with friends but awesome when you hit your 40’s) so when looking at pictures of myself as a new mom, I look as much of a baby as he does. We were young, we were newlyweds, one of us in the pair wasn’t even out of college yet. And we were married with a baby before we hit our mid 20’s.

twas also before digital cameras. But this is us, on the fire escape that we jokingly called “the deck”

Amazingly, I can remember so much of that first bit of motherhood. How Collin was, in fact, the perfect baby. It was like he read a baby book, then followed the guidelines – nursing every 2-3 hours, crying to let us know he needed a new diaper, hitting milestones before we even had to worry about them. I remember trying to explain to my friend how Collin would – at a week old – scoot himself across my chest to peer over my shoulder. Seriously, he was most comfortable on my left shoulder, looking out to the world. She confessed that she thought I was lying, that I had that new mom mis-perception – then she saw him do it. “Holy crap!” she said.

“I know!” I replied.

Then again, he was a 9 lb newborn.

Nine pounds.

“They don’t make babies like this anymore” the doctor who delivered him said after his birth. I wasn’t too surprised honestly, as my siblings and I were larger than normal babies. I did worry that the next one would be even bigger (note, he wasn’t. None of them were.)

I look back and wonder…who let us have kids?


We were so young. And now, my son’s the age his father was when I met him. I’m not sure if I should start singing “Sunrise, Sunset” or “Circle of Life”.

How can it all feel like last week and yet a lifetime ago?