Been there, done that, so what?

People I meet at my son’s preschool are sometimes surprised to learn that Jacob has two adult half-brothers. When I told one of the dads, he said, with hints of awe and envy, “So you’ve already done the whole thing — this is easy for you.”

He and I both know that it never gets “easy” no matter how many kids you have. As we talked, it became clear that he was talking about confidence more than competence.

Like most recycled dads, I am more confident and less anxious as a parent this time. But let’s face it: I don’t really have any special advantage over the average parent of multiple children.

The last time I had a child Jacob’s age was 15 years ago. Any parent with more recent experience with a preschooler has an advantage over me.

I guess there may be  special insights I’ve gained from seeing my older sons grow all the way to adulthood, but I think the confidence and ease that I feel are mostly ‘conjured’ — the result of feeling that I have ‘been there, done that.’ It’s the parenting equivalent of Dumbo’s magic feather.


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