When my husband and I moved in together before we were married or even engaged (sorry, Grandma!) we’d do what we wanted when we wanted.
The problem is what we wanted then was rarely more exciting than taking a few laps around the neighborhood or watching raunchy TV shows. We should have truly appreciated life before kids and done something better than walking to Kmart, and so should you.
Ah, doing what we wanted. Yes, that, and get your mind out of the gutter, but also going to the movies. Playing video games (him). Signing up for every single magazine giveaway contest (me). Eating an entire meal without having to stop to give someone a time out. Showering in peace. Taking a poop without interruptions. Doing nothing and liking it.
One of our favorite activities at night was going on walks around the neighborhood. To give us a purpose, we’d walk to a Kmart that was just a few blocks away. On the way to Kmart, we’d pass through the grounds of a hotel full of twinkly little white lights and it almost felt like a teeny tiny vacation.
Hand in hand, we’d crack up at eachother’s dumb jokes. We’d head to the toy section at Kmart where we’d play around with Barbies and Transformers and say we’d buy that stuff for our kids one day. Even then, we had babies on the brain.
Soon enough, we were engaged and planning for our wedding. That process took over a year. Where will we hold the ceremony? Who will be invited? What thousand-dollar dress will I wear? And as an afterthought, where will we honeymoon?
What I didn’t realize then is that our life could have been one big honeymoon. What was stopping us from having a small backyard wedding and instead using that money to spend a year living abroad or just in a different state somewhere experiencing different cultures and places, meeting interesting people? So what if we spent our meager savings eating good food and having cool adventures. Helping people who needed it. There was no one depending on us but us.
Back then we didn’t realize how completely the responsibility of kids would consume our lives. How we’d never again eat a meal all the way through. How we’d never poop in peace. How we’d worry about moving too much for fear of not allowing our kids to grow roots in one place. The importance we’d one day place on job stability and good health benefits.
I wish I wouldn’t have worried so much about what people thought or expected of us. Sure, the wedding was fun, but was anyone’s life going to be enriched by the beading detail on my wedding dress?
We should have lived wild and loose for those fews years, before our lives became all about these wonderful, beautiful little troublemakers who I wouldn’t trade for anything. There’s no better time to do it then when you’re young, able-bodied and most-importantly – kid free.