What did we do before we had kids?

written by liz on Wednesday, August 27 2008

Michael and I were talking during our weekend off. What is it that we did with ourselves before we had kids? I tried to ignite my dull memory to figure it out.

As we strolled around San Francisco I noticed a lot of young single-looking people, sans kids- sitting around in restaurants. As we passed outdoor cafes, I couldn't help but stare, then look back over my shoulder as I passed. I watched these kid-free people hanging out, talking- some eating and some even drinking bloody mary's in the middle of the day.

I decided these people might be Martians. What were these strange life forms doing?  I looked for more cues.

At lunch we sat down close enough to overhear two of these Martians conversing.  Young, and fresh-faced the female Martian (with no visible Yo Baby stains on her clothing) responded with great enthusiasm to her companion (first date?) when he asked her if she saw herself as spontaneous....

Said female, as if being interviewed for a job--said something like:

When I finally decided to move out here, I packed up four boxes of stuff, moved out of my place, bought a plane ticket and was living here by the end of the week.... My parents thought I was crazy. My parents, in Iowa, are so cute- I really think they are cute now that I don't see them every day.  I couldn't believe it though, my dad, tried to stage an intervention ....but I was like, Dad I am outta here! Then she said she was so happy she was  living city life-  then comes the exact quote:

"when I settle down and have kids I'll say to myself,Yeah! I did that shit!"

That's what I get for eavesdropping. Ye old slap in the face.  She isn't a Martian, she is me 25 years ago (minus the bad grammar and exact circumstances).  All of the sudden it crossed my mind that maybe I was the The Martian! I am that settled down person she is talking about! Settled down AND eavesdropping! Settled down! I am not chatting with my husband with her excitement . After 11 years of marriage, I am definitely not on a first date! Honestly, Michael and I are kinda staring at each other not knowing what the hell to say.

But here is the good part. We have nothing to prove in the moment. Michael already knows me. I am not on an interview! I think mainly we are just happy just to be sitting here without anyone tugging on us, spilling on us, crushing our toes while they try to escape the restaurant. We are at peace.

I wanted to lean over and say to that young girl, you do it baby ....you be spontaneous and have a good time because once you "settled down" there is no going back. As cliche as it sounds, its the best but hardest thing you are ever going to do.

I wanted to lean over and tell her. But I just ordered a bloody mary instead and decided she would figure it out herself.

Realization of the day: she isn't a Martian and neither am I. We're both just Earthlings.

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