Well, it turns out I got a detail wrong in my recent post on Halloween, as I was reminded this weekend by those in the know. My sister's party was the weekend after, not before, Halloween, but I returned home, rather than extend my stay to attend her party, because of Halloween. My mistake.
There are "dad" moments, there are "mom" moments, there are "parent" moments. A dad moment in one family may be a mom moment in another. Regardless, there are some things you don't appreciate fully unless you've been there. Bill Cosby, to name one, has made a career with his genius in understanding shared experiences. Yes, sympathy and intellectual understanding do exist. We don't have to live someone else's experiences to understand a lot about him. Generalities are, well, generally true. But there are limits to what we can know.
My father and I once had once discussed how do you convey what it's like to have a child to someone who has never had one. I don't know that you really can because I know I couldn't until the Troglodytrix and I had one. Actually, childless people tell us that all the time, i.e., that they don't get it.
To all those pouncing on me in the in box for being mean to my little sister, relax. It certainly was not my intention. I still contend that only a parent would appreciate fully the nature of the tension between one of those parent moments (all too few in hindsight) and an important someone else's milestone, as I described. My sister was not a parent at the time, but since has been blessed with Trogling #5. What I don't think she could have understood then, she surely understands now.
[submitted by e-mail]