The first many years of parenting are an anxious and fraught time. The main worry is keeping the child alive for the next 24 hours and praying they won't fall out of the tree they're climbing, or off of the back of the couch which they are using as some sort of gymnastic device. And, of course, you want them to eat every kind of food and become literate and it's so perilous. There's so many possibilities for anxiety and despair.
But then you look around and see that they lived. You didn't somehow do something terrible that caused death. You didn't totally fail. They're actually quite good at balancing.
And then the next wave of trauma descends on you like a cloud, as it did to me last night.
Will They Be Marriageable?!
And Will They Ever Be Employable?!
And you see them sweeping the kitchen, or lying on the floor complaining, or shoveling food down their gullets, or narrowing their eyes at you and you realize I Still Have So Much To Do! I Can Definitely Still Fail. Keeping them alive was the least of it.
So, excuse me, I have a big pile of socializing and correcting ahead of me today.