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LAST BABY

last baby

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When you’ve got the last baby of your baby boomer cohort.

Do kids wear parents out?

Look at your parents for that answer, but what about parents your own age when you have kids?

They’ve already seen it all, done it all, got all the t-shirts.

Now you’ve got the last baby.

You wake up one morning to find your kid actually did something overnight. They rolled over.

Yes, it’s a small thing, but holy hell, they rolled over for the first time.

You take a celebration lap around the room, whoop it up like you just won the Daytona 500, and call your parent pals.

“Well, you know, that’s what they do,” they say.

The shared thrill is too weak to measure, but that’s not the point. The point is enTHUsiasm, not drag ass-iasm.

If you get the ‘my kid rolled over last night’ call from a relative, get pumped. It’s not that hard, sports fans.

The next big move: you and the kid are on the floor. They’re in the middle of a blanket.

You leave for a second and when you come back you catch them trying to crawl the inch worm.

Developmentally you are so thrilled. It’s an exciting time. Take another lap, whoop it up, make the call.

On the other end you hear, “Yeah, well, whatever. How ’bout them Yankees.” Or Cowboys. Or Ducks.

Two things happen to baby boomer parent: you keep the thrill, or you let it go. Since you’ve pledged early that the thrill will never be gone in you, the choice is clear.

Do you keep sharing that thrill with drag assed listeners? Why not. Hope burns eternal.

One day you roll a ball toward your kid. You’ve done it a thousand times waiting for something to click.

This time they roll it back. You slap yourself to make sure it happened. To prove it you roll the ball again.

It comes back.

Oh, oh, oh, oh. They rolled the ball. Look at that arm. Look at those hands.

You roll around, you crawl, you ball it up.

And you make the call. Again.

Luke warm on the other end is an exaggeration. Disinterest is closer. How’s the weather makes for more riveting conversation.

Baby boomer don’t need the weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

You the parent know what you want to do. There’s no map or book for direction, just hints, but in your heart you know life is better with excitement for little things.

Once you are unwilling, or unable, to keep the thrill alive over little things, everything takes a step down.

Birthday? Why bother.

Christmas? Too much work.

Anything that even sounds like it might put you out? Who wants that?

When baby boomers starts the slide of indifference, what’s next? Forgetfulness, self neglect, blame.

Then the grasping begins, reaching for answers you already know the answer to, but the old answers aren’t good enough in your new mental state.

Just leave me alone, it goes, or I’ll take you out.

If that’s you, you’re not alone, but that’s how it’ll feel.

The last baby of your cohort might ask for things you don’t have, like good sense, but try and make an effort.

 

 

About David Gillaspie
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