So it’s Remembrance Day in Canada (and my husband’s birthday). But since the closest I’ve been to combat is a relative that dropped out of Royal Military College, I’m turning this into a memorial about “the time before.” As in “the time before I had kids.” Don’t get me wrong, I love
my kids and would never, ever wish to “undo” this. But there are certain elements of my life I do look back on fondly…sigh. I spent 6 days this summer entirely kid-free (the first time in 8 years), and it was truly a revelation…Here’s my top 5 list:
- Sleeping in. Ah yes…those days are so far behind me. Even when I go away and am kidless, I now actually wake up at 5:30 a.m. automatically. Since my youngest is 3, one would hope I only have another year or so of 6 am wake-up calls. Unfortunately, my senile and demanding cat has a different ideas and now, even when the kids sleep a little late, she’s whining at the bottom of the stairs for food at 5 am. Grrrrrr….
- Losing track of time. During my 6-day kid-free stint, I actually ended up spending 3 hours in a department store. When I check my phone I was panicked. And then it hit me, I have no where to be and nothing to do but make my way back to my hotel at some point. As a mom, this is as rare as seeing an albino squirrel juggle. In my university days (which were actually pre-internet not to mention pre-smartphone), I lost track of time just “hanging out” with friends ALL THE TIME–at bookstores, coffee shops, pubs…Wow, those were good days…
- Putting yourself first. So I’m not the worst at this. I know some moms who literally don’t have time to shower for a dinner party because they’re too busy getting the kids dolled up for the event. Still, there are many days when I’m running the kids out the door to school (thank God the school is across the street), in my pajamas. Mornings are full of breakfast, teeth brushing, homework and other prep for everyone else BUT me.
- Being the fun one. So I can still be the fun one–at work and kidless among friends. I like a good joke and a good gut-wrenching snort from time to time. But somehow when around the boys, I’m the one always stuck worrying about a fall at the playground, or getting the kids to bed, or making sure they’ve done their homework. Who gets to be fun in this relationship? DADs. Damn them!
- Silence. I know, one day I’m really going to miss the boundless, frenetic constant noise of my house. But when it’s 6 a.m. and I haven’t had a coffee yet and the kids are assaulting me with “mommy, mommy, mommy!” sometimes I do think of sending them off to a Bhuddist temple and force them to take a vow of silence. The non-stop chatter makes it impossible to have an adult conversation (and I don’t even mean a dirty one) with my husband most mornings because I’m constantly being interrupted.