It's official... I'm a parent! Well, I suppose that statement was true on September 17, when Maxwell Stephen joined our family. Scout and I are thrilled to have him in our lives... and someday, he'll be able to take out the garbage, mow the lawn, and walk the dog. Child labor benefits in 10 years aside, I am so in love with this little guy in this moment when he is helpless, and relying on us for his every need.
For some reason, motherhood and parenthood have different duties in my mind. Motherhood (and fatherhood) duties are loving and caring for your child. Parenthood requires setting rules and limitations. I don't think Webster will back me up in my definition, but whatever.
On his birthday, I realized that I was a mother, and responsible for this little life. Loving him, caring for him was my role - and that is what I have done. Hugged, kissed, loved, adored, changed, bathed, rocked - check, check and check.
Today we went to get his birth certificate. As if his presence isn't enough to qualify him as a person, he needed the official stamp from the county records department. Thirty four dollars later, we had two copies (come on, you KNOW he is going to lose one when he sends it away to get an expedited copy of his passport so he can go to spring break in Cancun... what? who? me? maybe... ) and he was official. So I guess you could mark that point as my intro to parenthood, but nope - didn't hit me yet... until our drive home.
We were cruising on a beautiful country road, and in my rear view mirror, I saw a Beemer zoom up to our back bumper with the windows open, and three teenage boys leaning out the sides. They were swerving from side to side, and I can't be certain, but the passenger riding shotgun may have had control of the steering wheel. Since I had my precious cargo in the backseat, I panicked, and looked for the nearest place to pull over and let them pass.
In my fifteen years of driving history, I can't recall a time when I EVER let someone pass me. But as a PARENT, I felt like those crazy teenagers (I guess you could also mark this moment as recognition of the fact that "I am OLD") were endangering my little dude. So I protected him, and thought immediately, "I'm a PARENT now!" Next, I guess I'll have to learn how to set curfew, issue groundings and deny requests for increases in allowance.