There are sleepless nights as the baby's needs come before our own. Every whimper or cry sets off our alarms as we selflessly devote to determining and rectifying the cause. They are fed, diapered, and nurtured in every way that we can guess might quiet the infant sounds of distress.
We watch with anticipation and glee as they gain weight, grow and develop control of their little muscles and frame. We hang on every sound that they make as toddlers, while they learn to form words and communicate with us in words rather than cries.
Soon they become preschoolers and we devote hours of time to them as they learn colors, numbers, alphabet, and names of objects from books and "educational" toys. We are an ocean of knowledge. They are the insatiable sponge of all that we can offer.
Some of my adult children have teenagers, and even grandchildren, of their own now. I used to tell them, as young adults, that a teenager leaving home was like a baby maturing out of the need for diapers. I did not mind going through it but there would not be any do-overs. Looking back on how this worked out, I am eternally thankful that none of them went back to shitting their pants, too.