Last night after we got off the phone with my brother, who updated us on the latest doings of his six-month-old son, my sister asked me whether having a child makes one more interested in other people's children. My answer was mostly no. I think I'd be a lot more interested in my nephew if I hadn't had my son three months later. (Does that sound terrible? It's true.)
I almost don't want to hear about other people's children because it takes away from the feeling that everything my son does is the most miraculous event that ever befell the earth. Because to me, it is. And everything connected with being a first-time parent feels like an astonishing discovery. The knowledge that it's already old news to everyone who's had a child is an affront to my sense of wonder.
One of the most magical qualities of a baby is that every second is an adventure in unfamiliar territory. Nugget is seeing the world for the first time, and I get to close my eyes to all my cynical experience and see it with him. I'm content to view it at the pace he sets, until you tell me that your baby was walking and talking and fixing toasters at his age. Id just rather hold onto the illusion that he's the only baby who ever laughed when you tickled him and cried when you wiped his nose.