Once in a Lifetime

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

And you may ask yourself, how do I work this?
And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?

Every once in a while, I find myself feeling this way. Am I really an adult responsible for raising two children? Am I really supposed to know all the things the other parents seem to know like, what makes an acceptable contribution to the golf-themed gift basket (?!) for my second grader’s school fund raiser? I feel like David Byrne, hitting his head over and over again. Surely I missed some vital information along the way here. I’m the person who decides what we’re all having for dinner (and has to make it)? How the hell did that happen? The family is counting on me to keep a roof over out heads and large automobiles in the driveway? What?!

You may ask yourself, am I right am I wrong?
You may say to yourself, my god what have I done?

The doubt creeps in during those quiet moments. When the sixth grader’s science homework question (water dissolving) suddenly has me unsure of everything I thought I knew. Crap! I forgot all this stuff after the test! I thought we were never supposed to need to know it anymore! I’ve been entrusted with making sure two whole people become thoughtful, intelligent members of society?! Shit! You know, it was easy when they were babies, I thought, I’ve got this. Teach them to walk, write their names, ride a bike, no problem. The discipline wasn’t too hard, teaching what’s good and what’s bad was pretty cut and dried. As they’ve gotten older though, there is much that is hard to define and I look at them sleeping and think, ooof. We have not even hit the teenage years yet.

Same as it ever was, Same As It Ever Was!

I’m sure this is nothing new. I’m sure my mother had no idea when she was 23 and had my oldest sister, what lay in store for her. I think most people who contemplate having children tend to think about babies, toddlers, young school-aged children. My kids are still young but I can see what’s just on the other side and I remember what kind of trouble teenagers can get into. My high schools resembled Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Most of us made it out just fine, but not everyone. How much of that is luck and how much is shaped by what I’m doing now? Letting the second grader take his Skylander figure to school is not a decision that’s going to alter the universe much. Letting the sixth grader start to go places on her own and unsupervised gets a little harder. By the time we get to learning to drive I am sure I will have an ulcer.

Time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us
Letting the days go by, letting the days go by

It’s good that this all happens really slowly over months and years. It isn’t really just Once in a Lifetime. There are days when you might wish for the current phase to be over and to have only existed that one time. Like colic. But by now you know that whatever you’re currently dealing with will pass, there will be a little lull and then the next challenge will crop up. Until then, you just have to let the days go by, into the blue again. Dancing may help.


  1. Yep, I can relate to this. Constantly feeling like a teenager masquerading as an adult, knowing one day I’ll get busted for being an imposter. But until then…. 😉


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