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Monday, March 12, 2007

This is how parents spell "freedom"

Tonight Marcel and I went for a walk - JUST BECAUSE WE CAN! After eleven years of parenting, we have reached a new milestone. We can leave our children at home for short periods of time without a babysitter. Wow!

There were so many days in those eleven years when we felt like we would NEVER reach that magical day when the kids would be capable of staying home without us. All those nights when we dreamed of just going for a short walk together after a long day, and those weekends when we knew the best thing for our relationship would be date night but we hadn't thought ahead to book a babysitter - well, they're fading away and now it feels like barely any time at all has passed in between.

Just as we'd begun our walk, we passed the house of our neighbours M&J. Their drapes were open and we could see J trying on a new snuggli. M&J just gave birth to their first baby a few weeks ago. Marcel and I smiled as we walked past. Even though some days it felt like our kids would be dependent FOREVER and we'd never go for a walk alone again, other days it feels like just yesterday when we were in their shoes - trying on snugglis and rocking our new baby to sleep.

In the blink of an eye, it all changes and we enter a new stage in our lives. I love this stage just like I loved all the others. I don't want to go back to where M&J are, nor do I want to rush ahead to where Linda is. I will enjoy this moment while it lasts.


P.S. Speaking of our firstborn, if anyone feels so inclined, you could wander on over to her blog (yes, she's finally posted) and leave her a friendly comment - she's feeling pretty disappointed about not making the developmental soccer league. She's a pretty good soccer player, and (trying to be unbiased) I was a little surprised she didn't make it too. Even her old coach was sure she should have made it.

20 comments:

Pamela said...

Sometimes life feels like a fast train.

Melissa said...

The other day my husband, daughter and I went to the store without our 10 1/2 year old son. I like the freedom, but it seems so fast to me too.

Joyce said...

Oh, I so get that. Its happened to us too, and I always feel like one of those news stories where the mom and dad fly to the tropics and leave their two pre schoolers behind.

Now when we do leave, I just hope they don't kill or maim one another...

ccap said...

Yup, it's good to enjoy where you are at the moment. Probably one of the most important things in life, being in the moment.

swampwitch said...

h, I try so hard to breathe in the moment and be aware. Seems like I blinked twice and my babies were grown with babes of their own...Where are you going my little one, little one? Where are you going my baby, my own. Turn around and your tiny, Turn around and your grown. Turn around and you're a young thing with babes of your own.

Gina said...

We aren't anywhere near, but it seems like it is going slow to me.

Robin said...

Heather, thanks for your visits to my blog, I'm back for a visit again :).

Ahhh, yes, "this" phase, I love it! I'm right where you are. It's good when you can trust your children not to beat each other to death or burn the house down, eh? I've never "wished away" a time in their lives; I've enjoyed them all (although some seasons were easier than others). It seems like this will probably be the "easiest" season of all---they still think their parents are smarter than they are, they're fairly independent, and they can't yet drive (lol). Believe me, I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

BarnGoddess said...

they grow up so fast!

it happens..too fast!

Vicki said...

It's a strange feeling isn't it? We are just now at the age where we1 can leave our kids at home for a short time alone.

I want a baby, but I don't really want to loose the freedom of having older children. I'm thinking that maybe I'll just stick to keeping my niece as much as possible. That way I don't have to be fit for a snuggly. =)

I'm going now to see Nikki.

Liz said...

We've been there a couple years now. We never had babysitters when they were little, so now we really appreciate our weekly date night.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Vivki...I want a baby too...

:)

Schoolboy

Coll said...

Aw.. yes.. in the blink of an eye.. or even quicker, if that is possible. My kids are now in their mid-thirties and my grandkids are in to their teens. Please.. can we slow it down, just a little.

karla said...

I just read this post to Mark and with a naive twinkle in my eye, asked if he was ready for 11 years of having a kid attached to our hip. I wouldn't wish it away for the world right now, but I just KNOW when the time comes that we can go out without worrying about our offspring it will feel like the most glorious and liberating thing ever!

The Passarelli's said...

I am enjoying every minute with Mikey that I can. I can only imagine what life would be like with Wendy if she were here.
But I will be walking alone tomorrow and not looking forward to it.

Stress Test!

wordgirl said...

Yes...being able to get away and leave everyone home was ESSENTIAL to grabbing time for conversation and reflection. And then...they get even older and something else happens. I blogged about it yesterday. I'm not sure if this is true for you or not.

Judy said...

I remember CLEARLY the hot summer day my husband and I were trying to keep our three young children from running off a pier and into Lake Michigan.

We passed friends coming the other way. They were, of all things, WITHOUT their children.

We asked where they were.

Summer camp!

It gave us hope. We hung on. At times merely by the skin of our teeth.

The first week they all went to camp together, my husband and I went camping along Lake Michigan.

It was HEAVENLY!!!

Now they are all grown.

I DO miss them being all cute and new, but I LOVE the people they have grown to be.

Stephanie said...

What a wonderful milestone! We are a long ways from that. About nine years! Ah, it'll come eventually :)

Whippersnapper said...

Um, totally jealous. I like that everyone is saying the time goes fast, because some days...

... but then again, on most days, I love that they want/need me to be with them all the time. I know when they get older, I will miss this stage like crazy.

Linda said...

I remember (like it was yesterday) the first time we left our kids. The freedom was great but it felt strange to leave them all alone together. The anxiety was pretty great at first.

Then I got over it.

Hope said...

Amazing, isn't it that a walk with one's husband feels like freedom. That's exactly what parents to be don't get. Once that child is born, life changes forever.