February 16, 2012

I'll Be Your Memory

With 2.5 years of dadhood under his belt, and twins on the way, Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood has given some thought to this whole parenthood thing:

Being a new parent is both terrifying and exhilarating, a constant rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows.

It's also a history lesson. The first four years of your life. Do you remember them? What's your earliest memory? It is fascinating watching your child claw their way up the developmental ladder from baby to toddler to child. All this stuff we take for granted, but your baby will painstakingly work their way through trial and error: eating, moving, walking, talking. Arms and legs, how the hell do they work? Turns out, we human beings are kind of amazing animals. There's no better way to understand just how amazing humans are than the front row seat a child gives you to observe it all unfold from scratch each and every day, from literal square zero. Children give the first four years of your life back to you.

This totally hit me. With one kid who's four, and the other almost eight, we find ourselves reminding kids of things they did, which they have no memory of themselves. Things that were so important to our daughter's development, experience, their life as a 1 or 2yo, they have no idea. The older one's even forgotten some of her 4yo experiences; we run into preschool classmates she doesn't remember being bestbest friends with.

Yeah, it's all important to kids' development, and to shaping how they grow and learn, and what kind of person they become and all, but parents are the ones who are going to remember the first years, not the kids.

On Parenthood [codinghorror via @jadabumrad]

1 Comment

I was surprised just a few days ago to discover that my 7 year old doesn't remember some things from his toddlerhood and preschool days. Events and things that were exciting and important for him then are completely forgotten now. It kind of saddened me a bit.

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