Obsolete Parenting Skills (& One Appeal of Pets)

The poignancy of my “last” baby phase passing has begun to hit me, but it’s nothing like I’d imagined.

I’m not craving a baby to hold, or wishing for more of my own. Mostly, I’m pathetically disappointed that my acquired skills in that area are now obsolete.

Isn’t that sad?

I’m convinced now that this is why those irrepressible ladies are always stopping to offer advice or books (oops, that’s me) to anybody they see pregnant or with a tiny baby.

They want to prove to themselves (and anyone else who might notice) that they and the skills they worked so hard for are still relevant.

I’m beginning to accept this passing (as I have no other choice), but it’s made me see why pets as objects of affection and nurture are so popular.

Yes, they are individuals, and they all have varying needs and quirks, but the reality is once you get out of the “baby” stage (and the “adolescent” stage, for some species) you have years of nurturing time that you can do the exact same thing with your critter and continue to meet all its needs.

This is just. not. true. of people. Ever.

Yes, Thorin adds to my work-load. It’s impossible that he couldn’t. But the sweet simplicity of him is a relief.


Thankfully, even as my former competencies become obsolete, I can trust that God will give me new competencies.

I’ve said before, when talking about children growing, that there’s always things we’re glad to leave behind.

And I could start thinking that way about skills too.

Yes, I know how to soothe a crying baby, but isn’t life more peaceful when I don’t have to?

It is sad to leave behind that first phase of language where I watched them make the delighted connection between symbol and sound, and enter the big world of communication.

But I leave that behind to enter a world that is filled with learning the substance of conversation and encouragement.

This is beautiful, too, and I will bless the Lord for his goodness— that he will continue to teach me what I need to learn.

One thought on “Obsolete Parenting Skills (& One Appeal of Pets)

  1. I am so excited to have real adult conversation with my kids. Course, I’m still changing diapers, but it’s all good. I love watching my ten year old get more subtle humor and start to grasp concepts that the others can’t get yet. It’s awesome watching the grow!

    The pet issue is still something we haven’t solved yet.

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