Friday, July 3, 2009

Indentured servitude

Independence day means so much to so many people but independence is such a flighty thing. Once you have kids you are just never independent again, are you? It's a weighty thought, that once you give birth to this living organism you will never (if you're lucky) be without them again. Yes, they'll grow up and move away (18 long years from now) but they're still with you.

Not being alone is a positive reason for having kids, because who wants to be old and alone at the nursing home with no visitors and having at least one kid does increase your chances of having someone visit, at least on holidays. Now, having three simultaneously like me also increases your chances of having a next generation too, who might forgive you much more easily for your parental transgressions (seeing as how they were not visited upon them) and might therefore be more likely to visit you in your stinky urine smelling cubicle of hell. So it's definitely advantageous to decide to have children even if it means losing your independence.

Because what are the advantages of independence after all? Freedom to go anywhere you want, whenever you want. Well that's pretty appealing. But what if you have no one to go with? No one to tell about your adventures once you return? So, can you wait on that until they go to college? Perhaps. Freedom to sleep in, stay up late, watch what you want, answer the phone or not, walk around naked in the house. Well that's appealing too, but for how many years? We all stayed up late and slept in during college and some after. Was it really that great? Or was half the day gone before you got up and you were kind of groggy and out of place all day because your schedule is all off and it's hard to go to bed the next night and so on. So, perhaps we can sleep in on mother's day and when the kids are at camp and make it through 18 years that way?

Freedom to go out to dinner without hiring a babysitter, see a movie at the spur of a moment, run away for the weekend together and keep your marriage in good repair. Well, there's a lot of pull to that one. But what would it all feel like with no one to come home to who was missing you? No one who idolizes you, thinks you rock (well for now at least, leave me in my fantasy) wants to throw themselves upon you physically so they can slime you with snot and drool but make you feel like a million bucks? I don't know, it makes marriage hard, but it adds something too. You see a part of your partner you never would have seen otherwise. The nurturing father, the gentle caregiver, the guy who knows how to make them laugh while they're crying. The guy who took care of you while you were recovering from the worst c-section ever and never let on he was concerned. How would you have known about that part of him? You never would have fallen that much more in love with him without kids.

So maybe independence is overblown. I'm pretty sure when I sit and dream about what life was like before kids I might be rosying things up a bit. I'm pretty sure it wasn't all escapes to Napa B&Bs and moonlight beach walks. I'm also sure that I'm going to forget what it was like without kids soon and imagine that life without them would be pretty empty, just hubby and me. Sure I still fight for a few hours here and there alone, I will never not be independent in my soul. But every time I find my quiet time interrupted by these amazing, smiling, laughing, loving, hugging crazies I call my triplets, I forget I was annoyed by the interruption. Bah, independence. Let the revolution happen somewhere else. I'm fine with my servitude.

No comments:

Post a Comment