In an adorable interview with BuzzFeed, Stephen Colbert talks all about being a dad. And it's kind of making my ovaries scream. I especially love what he says about 6-year-olds: "Every year has its own special thing, but there’s something about 6 years old. They’re just old enough that they can feed themselves, clean themselves, and they still really like you. That’s when they say, ‘All right, we’re going to take them and put them in school.’ And it’s like, 'Ugh, we just got them all perfect!'"
I know exactly what he's talking about. Six is fun because your kid is independent, yet still adorable and adoring. It could be my favorite age ... except I refuse to have a favorite age. I just can't.
It's not just because every age has something special. It's also because I'm afraid of the power of nostalgia. If I decide 6 is my favorite age, will I spend the rest of my son's life longing for the way he was when he was 6? Will that longing rob me of now?
I have one child. That means I get exactly one shot with every age. I know if you have more than one, you've still got only one shot with each age for every kid, and every age with every kid is unique. But I can't speak to that experience. All I know is that time is whizzing by way too quickly, and I have to stay present or I'll miss out on too much.
If I picked a "favorite" age, would I still remember singing Tom Wait's "Midnight Lullaby" to my newborn at midnight? Would I remember swinging him around and around in the park at 18 months? Or wearing all black and playing deep sea divers at 3? Or saying goodbye on his first day of pre-k? Or putting together Bionicle robots for him at 5?
Well, I probably would. But my point is, I feel like the stakes are too high. And honestly, I can't pick one favorite age. I just can't, even though some ages are harder than others. I want to be fully present for every year. Whichever age my son is now, that's my favorite age.
Do you have a favorite age, or are you also unable to pick one?