We found out at Christmas that my brother-in-law and his wife are expecting a baby this summer. This week we found out they will be having the first male grandchild (we have two girls, my own brother has a daughter so it's all XX around these parts). I am happy for them, mostly because I know they were hoping for a boy. I am also happy for the next chapter to start, I call that chapter "Welcome to Parenthood, suckers!"
Look, before we had kids I could get nice and judgmental about other people and the way their kids behaved and the way they parented and I could say all sorts of stupid things about it. Oh those were the days of being clueless about what parenting really is like. My brother-in-law and his wife are lovely people who also have, in the past, expressed their own feelings about the ways others raise their children. They are offensive or mean about it. They aren't obnoxious, but oh are they in for a treat.
I think adding a boy to the mix will be interesting (and probably worthy of its own post) so I'll save that for later. Over the four plus years we've been parents we have said something when we thought my brother-in-law was being ridiculous or judgmental. It's only fair to prepare him for the reality of parenthood. That reality is that when you are exhausted beyond any exhaustion you have ever felt in your life, when you are frustrated and emotional in a way you have never experienced, when you become a being (not really quite human) whose only goal is survival, you do things that before you had kids might have appalled you.
I'm not talking about treating your kids in an unhealthy way. I'm not talking about abuse. I'm talking about becoming protective, even a little crazy, about things like the particular foods you know your kid will eat, being insane about the fact that your kid has to have a very particular blanket at nap time. I'm talking about not using a babysitter for years because the thought of leaving your kid with another person makes your heart ache. You think, before kids, oh we won't change, we'll go out to eat and read the Sunday paper, and we won't lose contact with friends. You think all that and then you have kids and you only then realize the hormone fueled insanity of not trusting a single other human being to take as good care of your child as you would (even if you know you are being insane). You have no interest in bars or late movies because your kid will be up at 5 AM whether you go to bed at 8 PM or 2 AM. Some times it becomes about self preservation so you let your kid watch a DVD in the car because it's a five hour drive and you won't make it otherwise.
So, we are entering a new place and wow, is it going to be interesting to watch. Every family, every parent is different and you learn pretty quickly, upon becoming a parent, that it's all about surviving and you do wat you have to do to sleep and stay sane. I think this new baby is going to rock the world for my brother-in-law and his wife. I think it's going to be amazing to watch.