Monday, January 19, 2009

If I didn't have kids....

If I did not have kids, I would not be here right now.

My life, before I got pregnant, was totally different. The appearance of Teena ground to a screeching halt almost all the aspects of life as I knew it. Mostly, I didn't even notice. There have been a few things, randomly, that I have felt I missed out on. And I missed out on them because I had kids.

Here in town is a big 4th of July party. Bands up and down all the streets, food vendor's (DUDE get your fat ass out the way of my funnel cake booth or I cannot be responsible for the loss of your balls SERIOUSLY) and craft vendor's and boat loads of alcohol. And boats on the river. Not to mention the fireworks. The first year, we took Teena in her stroller and it went well. The second year, not so much. We took the girls 2 summers ago and spent the time watching, sigh, the clown band. And the guy with the balloons. Then left. This past summer we did not go at all. That is one thing that I miss that I do not do up in all its glory, because I have kids.

Then there are the day to day things. I miss, desperately, being able to pop into my car and go where ever the hell I feel like going. The grocery store, the mall etc. If we are out of milk, I would rather just live without milk than hassle around for a half hour getting the girls ready and into the car with all the car seats and buckles and straps, just to get there and do it all in reverse, then back again. Forget it. We will drink water until we need more than milk.

I miss growing my handbag collection. I love Coach bags, ever since I got one as a gift in college. One bag however, costs the equivalent of a month of day care. So, the collection (investment, really) grows much more slowly and only in gift form. Growing my antique depression era dishes and glassware collection? Enough said. Reading a book and leaving it on the table while I get up and do something else and finding it still there AND on my page when I return, that I miss.

Ok, so that is not a tremendously long list. I don't wish I could have gone to medical school or joined the Peace Corps. Mostly I have my kids and we do kid things and that is that. If anyone is waiting, I am not going to go into a long tangent about how my kids are all worth it and my love for them is so strong blah blah blah. Whatever. It is assumed.

I felt it hard, hard, when Barack Obama won the presidential election. We were just returning from a trip to the southwest with the girls and on the day of the election we were traveling home. We were at O'Hare airport in Chicago when we found out Obama had won (of course we absentee- voted). Frazzled and exhausted from 8 hours -and counting- of travel with 2 young children, I wanted nothing more than to grab a cab, catch a bus, something, and buzz on over to Grant Park. I love Grant Park. I grew up in the Chicago area, and I went to every Blues Fest for 10 years. I love the city. Love it. I would have ditched my flight in a split second. Cell phone and a credit card. That is all I needed.

It did not happen of course.

We slogged our way back to Wisconsin, collected our 400 bags of luggage, and went home. And I watched the President Elect give his speech on TV. I watched his beautiful family (2 girls!!! Who else has 2 girls? Wait, oh yeah) join him on that stage. I felt such a pull, an overwhelming want, to be there in the ice cold with all of those people, in person. The excitement, the joy, came through even on tv. The thrill, the hope and the collective electrifying energy. It was one of the few times in the past 4 years since having Teena, and then Genea, that I have really wished I had a different life that would have allowed me to ditch my flight, put my stuff in a locker at O'Hare, grab my cell phone and a credit card (maybe a lipstick and comb too) and just GO.

Today, tomorrow, I would love to be on my way to Washington DC for the inauguration. Surely I would not have had an invitation to any parties, but I wouldn't have the clothes for one anyway. I have never been at a point in my life, kids or not, that I would have been able to afford what a hotel room has to be going for this week. If I were in college, or even fresh out, I would be there. I would not change my underwear for 3 days and take a bus and not sleep the whole time and I would be there. Standing in the street, snaking my way up as close as I could possibly get to the action, to be able to see, no matter from how far, to be able to watch this happen. This time, right now, this moment in the history of this country.

Instead we will watch it on tv. I will try to explain to my kids why the day is such a special one and what has changed in the minds of the people of this country. What we have been through starting before they were born and what we hope will change. They will not understand yet. And I will wish I was there.


  1. We were invited to a Family freindly inaugural ball, but alas we were not able to find a place to stay. Makes me sad. I would KILL to be there. I was reduced to tears yesterday with Obama's speech. Instead I will be helping with our democratic party inaugural watch tomorrow (and making 5 dozen cupcakes tonight - blech!)

    Such a great day for our country.

  2. I understand-- there are days when I would give up just about anything (except my three monkeys) to be able to stay in bed all day and surf the net, or dash off on an impromptu vacation with my long awaited for prince charming...but alas it is the day to day grind, and just like you said, watching the inauguration on TV for me...

  3. Oh how I wish I could be there too.

  4. I love the topic; I hope you don't mind if I steal it some time....if I can bring myself to "go there"....

  5. So, I just found your blog and you made me smile.
    I think every parent feels this way from time to time. My husband and I were just talking about how we'd love to have been there, but couldn't imagine having to take the kids along. So, we watched it on tv... and it was still amazing.
    I also wish I could just freeze time sometimes to finish a book, or even go pee by myself. Just reading your blog I had to say, "hold on" a billion times, stop to get my oldest more food, and wipe my 3 year old's butt... oh the joys of motherhood!

  6. Since my daughter is grown, I can add that once the kids are older you will be able to spend the day doing as you please. It's a thing called SCHOOL. One day each winter, I saw her off to the school bus and ran back upstairs to bed in my flannels with a box of crackers and a cold drink. I read in bed (and napped) all day and got up in time to shower and get dressed in sweats before she was home at 4:00. She and her father were none the wiser. I called it a mental health day. The time will come for you. Hold on.

    I know what you mean about wanting to be "there" and part of it. I wish I could have been. I felt the same way about the Olympics in Lake Placid as they were close enough to my home in Southern New England.

    BTW, your girls are just adorable.

  7. Yup, for sure if I didnt' have kids I still would probably not have been invited to anything. Watching on TV though, I still wanted to go even though it looked crazy and cold.
    Tina, thanks, I think they are cute too lol! I have one in school, just waiting on the other to go!


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