Do you ever daydream about what your baby's going to grow up to be?
And I don't mean the regular stuff all parents hope for their kids - like college, marriage with their own families, a good job, success or happiness. Of course that's what I want. If he ends up accomplishing any of that, I'll be thrilled.
Because I've been thinking a lot about the scary stuff.
First, I try to get a picture of him in my head as an older, adult-ish tall person. His face is vague to me; I avoid picturing any type of acne and can't steer clear of a silhouette with floppy ears. So, what we're seeing here is a tall, skinny man - err - guy with some ears and a blurry, nice face. Trying to add in any other features - like profile, nose shape or lip size - blows my mind.
Then I get into what this skinny man - my actual son - is going to be doing. He's going to be doing what every other human on earth does.
Trying cigarettes. Maybe taking up smoking.
Drinking too much.
Avoiding his mom's phonecalls.
Getting made fun of.
Thinking dirty thoughts.
Getting in car accidents.
Falling in love.
Already I'm looking at older kids (like say, four year olds), and I'm thinking, There's something about that kid that makes him so not what I want Carter to be. The oldness, perhaps? The perpetual vanishing of cuteness?
Right now I have the luxury of watching his every move.
I think of his youth, complete with frog-filled, boyish adventure and so many accidents that could happen to him. Some scrapes and bruises, yes. But what if there's a spinal injury or disease? Brain damage? Obesity? Bullying? How can I ensure that he's never sad?
Having him in my life makes me feel like the world is so much more full of danger than good.
The little penis I've been trying to keep from getting an adhesion and whose pee-fountain I've been dodging is going to have sex one day. I think of girls, and my instinct wants them to leave my little Carter's heart alone.
Let's say he does go to college. On the very day I drop him off, he's going to go to some party and do ridiculous things. Smoking, drinking, jumping in dark ponds at night (what? no ponds at your college?), and probably some new raging dangerous technology having to do with the year 2030 that you and I will be oblivious to. Things are going to happen to him. There's going to be thousands of instances where the only way he can learn about life is by doing something wrong.
He may decide to ::gulp:: join the military and be sent off to war. My stomach just did a flip.
I know it's natural to worry about my son's future and his livelihood. I am, after all, his mother. Events are out of his control and may hurt him physically or spiritually, it happens to everyone.
But still, my daydream about what Carter will be feels unanswered ... I realize, there's so much I don't want for him, and I know, regardless, it's headed his way. But honestly, the only wish I truly and selfishly have for his life is that I don't want him to be anything or anyone more than what he is right now. I want him to be 15 months old, safe, innocent, cute and in love with me and his dad.
Protective. Yes, there's the word I've been trying not to use. Crazy, stupidly, understandably and overly protective.
Maybe that's how all of us survived our youth - through the divine intervention of our mothers' relentless, worrisome prayers.
So, here's my big announcement: Carter will be released from his home on his 30th birthday.