It’s astonishing how quickly I’ve come to define parenting in terms of things I’ve missed.
Like: my kids have never pooped in the bathtub. Now isn’t that an adventure squandered?
Claudia isn’t three yet, so maybe I’m counting my poop-free chickens a trifle prematurely. But she’s an open book when it comes to bodily functions, and besides, if she were too many hours away from her last poop I wouldn’t let her into the tub in the first place.
So I think I’m safe: our bathtub has escaped being dookified.
As rites of passage go, I can live without crap in the bathtub. But we’re missing something else that does register as a loss: Claudia’s older sister Fern will not be having a first day of kindergarten.
Here in San Francisco, you only get to go to your neighborhood school if you win a lottery. (If you’re not from here, this is a long story, but it begins with Howard Jarvis burning in a special corner of hell all his own.)
We played the lottery three times and lost — we have two more chances this fall but only after school starts. So that wonderful sad pride every parent feels dropping off their kid on the first day of kindergarten with all the other wide-eyed 5-year olds, taking that first step together into a larger and more wonderful world: yep, not us.