what was it like before we were here?

Last night my five-year-old asked me, “Mom, what was it like in your life before we were here?”

I chuckled at the Hallmarkness of the moment, but it was a real question.

“Well,” I said. “Well, let me think.”

And I was struck anew with how very hard it is to remember life without my children. It all seems like one vast prelude now, one warmup for the real life that began when my oldest was born, bursting my world into Technicolor all at once.

This made me really want to try to remember.

“What did you do before you had us?” Seamus prompted.

“I slept more,” I admitted. “I slept a lot more, on weekends, at least. I exercised more.”

I couldn’t think of anything else.

“I was bored more,” I said finally. “Sometimes I would feel like I wasn’t sure what I should be doing with my time. Now that you’re here, I never feel that way.”

That’s the truth.  A five-hour airport delay, with three children, is not how I want to spend my day, but it is certainly not boring- it is nearly frenetic with activity. When I am with my little children, every moment is very, very full. And even if I runneth over with frustration or impatience, I never wonder what it is I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

Thanks, kids.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikki March 30, 2010 at 1:27 am

Funny…I've always felt the same way, but never really knew how to say it. I know I had a life before my kids, but I can't really remember it. I don't look back and think it was good or bad…I'm indifferent…maybe because I didn't really start living every minute with the excitement, spontaneity, and joy of a two year until I had one.

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Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm

My husband and I moved to Oregon 9 years ago with our cat, and when I was remembering the trip recently, I caught myself trying to figure out where we had the car seats, since we had packed everything we owned into the car. Then it hit me that the trip was four years before we had kids. Ohhhh, yeah. That was…what was that like again?

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