I have become irrelevant. I knew, all along, that ultimately my success as a parent would be measured by how useless I eventually became. Now that the moment is here, it is hard to feel like it is a success. It’s not that Syd doesn’t love and appreciate me; he does. He just doesn’t really need me.
And here I am with all these helpful skills! I know how to soften the edges of things for teachers. I know how to rush forgotten lunches to school. I know how to listen patiently through the four-part harmony version of any particular disaster, real or imagined. I can make play-dough, read stories in the dark, kiss boo-boos, sing about Old MacDonald’s farm, which grows everything from sheep to telephone poles, mend crucial stuffed animals, do speed laundry, and converse with imaginary friends. I have passed seventh grade math three times, once by the skin of my teeth and by the power of prayer.
Admittedly, these skills have won me a fair number of friends in the under-seven set. It’s amazing what imaginary pizza can do for a person’s popularity. But it’s now all for recreational use. I have worked myself out of a job.
It’s a good thing, and yet I’m sad.