We were the first in a few of our circles to have a baby. So ours was the only one for a bit. It was always impressive to me how easily our friends loved him. I, of course, was in total agreement–he’s a my kid. But for everyone around us? I mean, some kids are just not even likable, much less lovable. Maybe ours was different. Maybe he was just easy to love.
Then our other friends started having kids. And I loved their kids–even when they were whining or making our restaurant experience less than enjoyable. I loved them. Even when they maybe were throwing a wrench in plans or whathaveyou. Just like their parents had loved our boy as he did those things. I loved them. I loved them because they are an extension of their parents, who I already love.
And I knew it years ago, but sort of forgot: the reason they love the boy is he is a part of us. He is the best parts of us, in many cases. People who love us and are invested in us love him simply because he is ours.
As it goes, we are living in our hometown with many of our childhood friends. It brings me so much joy to watch our friends be parents. It’s especially fun with the guys–you don’t expect the guys who picked on you growing up to be good dads. Them as dads isn’t even really on your radar. And they’re good dads. So good and hands on; it’s incredible to watch. We laugh and talk about what it will be like when our kids grow up, and it makes me smile to think about a second generation of friends, right here where we all grew up together.