Before Michael, I wondered what the heck those rides in front grocery stores, in the malls, and even in amusement parks (isn't there enough entertainment) were for. You know, the ones you put a quarter in, would go round and round for a minute, and usually resembles some thing from an eighties cartoon. They are dirty, always broken (or at least has a part missing), and the song it plays- cheesy and would more than likely get stuck in your head, all the way home.
Or the ones that resembles trains. That parents paid a ridiculous amount for, just for the child to go round and round for no more than a few minutes.
Yes, I gave those judgey eyes to those families and vowed I would never be that parent.
Then Michael came along. And I understand now how valuable those rides can be. And how happy they make kids feel.
And isn't that what life is about anyways?
Michael has been obsessed with these types of rides, train rides specifically. It doesn't matter if its a ride in front of our local Vons or a ride that goes completely around the mall. Or even a ride around Disneyland. If it resembles a train, he'll ride it.
This past Sunday, we decided to treat Michael to a train ride. Our local mall has a train ride that actually goes around in circles through part of the mall. We were a bit weary of letting him ride, as there was no one else getting on at 10 in the morning, but Michael couldn't care less. He went on his own and enjoyed the time of his life, smiling from ear to ear, while my husband scurried to capture the moment on his iPhone. I thought to myself, "Life doesn't get any better than this."
As the train ran along, I started to wonder about these sort of things. Along with everything I knew before I became a parent. Like how long you should let your child watch tv. Or when is too old for a pacifier. Or when to potty train.
A quote came to mind, "I thought I was the perfect parent - before I became one." How I gave judgey eyes. How I vowed I would never be that parent letting their kid on rides like this. I could only laugh myself.
It's funny how life works. But the common saying is true- you should never judge before you experience it yourself. And that you really are the perfect parent - until you become one.
What parts of parenthood have surprised you? What parts of yourself have surprised you even more?