I’m thinking about kids a lot these days as my family goes through transitions. The twins are done with high school in a few weeks. I turned 45 yesterday. It’s strange how my thoughts have segued quite nicely from having a baby of my own to one day having a grandchild.
Turning 45 has made me play the what-if game a lot this week…
What if I had gone to law school like I originally planned instead of getting my master’s in clinical psych? Would I have been a good lawyer? Would I have been a lawyer who makes money or a legal aid attorney, helping the less fortunate? Would I have ended up being a children’s rights attorney?
What if I had stayed married to my first husband? Would we have had kids? Would I still have finished school?
What if I never met Jim? Would I still be living in my apartment, living the swinging single lifestyle?
What if we hadn’t decided to become adoptive parents? There was a time when I worked in social services where I swore I would never do anything involved the Department of Children and Family Services ever again. Yet, I put ourselves and our lives under their microscope.
What if we hadn’t adopted Jeremy and Jermaine? What if we hadn’t adopted Aaron? Would Jim and I have continued living our double income no kids lifestyle? What do couples do who don’t have children?!
What if my Bestie, Kelly, and I hadn’t gotten so close? Would I still be sane? Would I have curled up in a ball in the corner, chanting nonsense? Would I still laugh as much as I do?!
Mostly, I wonder how I got so blessed and lucky to be living my life. I have a wonderful husband, the greatest kids (no one has annoyed me in minutes!), great extended family, wonderful friends, a nice home. When I think of the things I have I realize they are so much more than I ever allowed myself to wish for!
And, the truth is, that kids have made it all better…
With kids, you understand good times versus bad times. You learn to appreciate the small miracles. Honestly, the other day when Aaron bent over and picked up a remote control that had fallen to the floor, I nearly wept with joy. A random text from one of the boys will make me smile like I just won the lottery.
Kids make you fight less as a couple. I’m starting to think it’s because you’re too damn tired from fighting with the kids to even have a fight with your spouse. Your husband annoys you? Trust me, there is nothing a grown man can do that compares with a 12 year old boy. Nothing.
Kids are a great way for friends to bond. Because if you are honest with your girlfriends about your kids, you realize that all kids are demons at times. Beware: you can’t have this relationship with the parent of The Perfect Child. Your friends have to face their kids’ flaws for true bonding.
Kids help define your priorities. Things you swore were important end up not being so. Things you thought were deal breakers soon go out the window as you all learn the art of compromise. For instance, I really want Jermaine to get a haircut. So I politely remind him every day that I am available at any time to take him for one. Jermaine chooses to react to my suggestion by turning his head and making some comment under his breath. We are compromising. Because I’m not about to drag him for a hair cut and he’s not about to tell me to take a flying leap out loud. That’s compromise, folks.
Kids make you resilient. They never do the expected. They always carry with them the element of surprise. They are never boring. They keep us on our toes!
I can’t imagine life without kids. Can you?!