Sunday, 8 February 2009

Point Of Re-Entry.

As usual, the room was crowded with adolescent bodies and I couldn't remember the last time I had been able to sit comfortably and watch a programme or DVD of my choice without interruption.

“Look on the bright side,” my husband commented cheerfully. “It won’t be long before she’s old enough to baby sit and we can go out.”

“Out? You mean in the dark, as in night time?”

“Sure, why not? Like we used to B.C.”

“Uh?”

“Before Children.”

Anxiety crept down my spine and legs and nestled into the depths of my furry slippers. The mug of tea I was holding tilted slightly slurping a few drops onto the oatmeal carpet.

“Where would we go?” what would I wear? I enquired hesitantly, gazing through our small window like an astronaut peering into space. “All the places we used to go are closed down now. It’s a young person’s game to be out on the town these days you know.”

His eyes shone with nostalgic anticipation.

A vision of the earth loomed before me like a giant suspended home made ball. Each city made up of different coloured glitter sparkling with luminous energy. On closer inspection, colonies of young people dressed skimpily, clattered over the cobbles beneath husky yellow street lamps; their laughter and conversation lost in burbling, alien language.

I’d seen enough.

Unable to spot a safe place to land I guided our ship expertly away from the atmosphere back into outer space.

“What are you doing, I thought we were going out?”

“We’ll buy a bigger sofa.” I mumbled picking up a book. “Put the kettle on while you’re up would you.”

13 comments:

  1. ha - i know the feeling. there is life after kids... its not just a rumor! :)

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  2. I can't imagine it at the moment Annie and neither can my wardrobe.

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  3. Maybe men feel differently about BC and AC ... we had two daughters and both of them went into the world a long time ago (they are probably near your age) and got jobs and bought houses and had kids of their own; the sense of pure, unadulterated freedom when they became firmly fixed in lives of their own, and not the central focus of ours, was as heady as cocaine. We played like children ... free at least, free at last, thank god almighty, we're free at last.

    On the other hand, your vision of the earth is scary to me, even now.

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  4. He he nice post, I know what you mean, life outside looks scary after kids. I remember going out with my hubby a few months after the girls were born. I bought a new pair of red strappy heels and couldn't walk in them, I had to hold onto him all the way and dancing well that was a whole other thing. Suddenly my body wasn't my own anymore, I had to learn all over again.

    My suggestion - get yourself a new outfit, wanting to wear it will probably tempt you out into the big wide world.)

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  5. Hey Don, there are advantages to having your children while still young in that there is more of your life left after they leave home. At this rate, we'll be drawing our pension and picking up from the school gates.

    Selchie: I love the idea of high heels or in fact any heels but seem to have abandoned myself to flat sensible lace-ups long ago.

    I did once find a pair of red stilettos at the back of the wardrobe and couldn't resist having a totter then fell over nearly breaking my neck.

    If I say so myself, there was a time when I was considered quite a catch. These days, if I fell on a man Id most likely kill him. Now where did I put my knitting...?

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  6. There's a lot I relate to in this post.

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  7. I do believe there are mostly advantages, with some notable disadvantages, to having children, if one wants children, when young, before 30, 25 is better ( I was 21 when my first was born, 27 for the second). First, you still have the energy for children, which is vital. Your interests have not grown so far apart from the interests of children. Most of all, as you said, Tracey, when they are adults with lives of their own, you still have some life and energy left to enjoy the things you put off for a couple of decades, not to mention have just a bit of energy leftover to play with your grandchildren from time to time.

    The main disadvantage is financial. I have tons more money these days than I could even dream of having in my 20s and 30s, so we were not able to hire any sort of help, and grandparents were our only baby sitters. My wife and I worked different shifts -- she in the day, I at night -- so we wouldn't need child care. I took our younger daughter to class with me -- she plopped next to my desk in her carrier -- because we could not afford a baby sitter. (She got a good bit of a graduate school education, but claims that since she was less than a year old, she doesn't remember all that much.)

    Another disadvantage is that, statistically, most early marriages do not endure, so the children become children of a divorce.

    But again, I think the advantages carry the most weight. One thing in our case, we did not change our lifestyle much at all just because we had children; they just were absorbed into it. We took them everywhere and immersed them into a very wide world. This has been dramatically life-enhancing for them as adults. We don't have that energy or that drive anymore, and if we had young children now, they would certainly be bored with us, and have missed the advantages of the ambitions, the vagabonding, the educational and cultural life, we lived in our wild and crazy youth.

    I admit this is easier to see and to understand in retrospect, like most things.

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  8. I thought you might Brad.

    Don: I think there will be sacrifices and benefits to overcome and enjoy no matter what age the parents.

    Today is our youngest 4th birthday and we've just come back from an indoor play area where we met with friends for lunch. In a few minutes time we have to go and pick up the other one from school before the rest of the presents get opened without witnesses if I let her have her own way. At some point around 9pm tonight I'll be able to flop down with a cup of tea and thank God for my children who will be safely tucked up in bed; thankful and grateful for never having to go through childbirth again!

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  9. Our children have children of their own and I thought it got easier, but it doesn't. When our children were small we could control what they did - now, we don't control anything and often feel like a fly on the windscreen wiper of life. Still, I wouldn't change it - our sons and daughters are lent to us, to mould, direct and love no matter what. A smile,look or hug from them is worth all the worry and apprehension of being on that windscreen wiper. Enjoy them and their dreams!

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  10. Thank John, some sound advice there. I've just put a little princess to bed who insisted on taking her princess balloon with her. what can you do...

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  11. Don't burst her balloon, ever.

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  12. BC! Yes Its Strange once your a parent..........Its Like Youve changed but the rest of The World Hasnt.....But! Its worth every tiring minute!

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  13. Yes it is Tony...Will someone please hand me a stiff drink!

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