To my life before kids

I miss you sometimes. I miss your carefree days and your carefree ways. I miss the irresponsibility
and the youthful sense of immortality. I miss spontaneous road trips and last minute outings. I miss your financial freedom and cute clothes. I miss my waistline. I miss drinking on a patio on a hot summer evening. I miss my career and fierce independence. I long for a night out dancing and for the days when I could go to an amusement park and actually go on a ride that went faster than five miles an hour.

But mostly I miss the little things. Things I never thought in a million years I would covet. Things like a shower and a hot meal…or even an uninterrupted cold meal. SLEEP! I miss sleep. I ache for sleep. I miss being able to go to the dentist. I miss trashy TV, reading a good book, and having lunch with a girlfriend where I could have a coherent conversation.

I could go on and on about all the things I miss about you. You are my nostalgic days and you are long behind me. I can’t believe I didn’t appreciate you more when when I had you! But here’s the thing. I miss you, I’m fond of you, and I love what we had, but I do not want you back. Not even for a second.

You see, you kept me so focused on myself that you did not allow me to grow as a person. You did not teach me about true and unconditional love. While you were fun, you were not fulfilling. You were silly, young and immature. Social circles were situational and friendships untested. While I had more money, I had less appreciation for it’s value and too much appreciation for what it could buy. You were undoubtedly a good time, but I am a better person without you.

Now, I live a sleep deprived dishevelled existence. My new life is full of stress and hard choices. But, I have never been happier. Never been more loved and never loved more. I don’t get the same joy out doing things for myself that I used to. I’ve accepted that my body will never be perfect and I’m more worried about my health and less about what people think of me.

In my new life, I’m constantly surprised how much kids can teach me. I swear sometimes my kids know more than I do. Its like living with little Yodas. They are small and they talk funny, but man, are they wise! They teach me something new almost every day. My kids’ silent pain has changed how I see the world. In my old life, when I would see a mean and angry person, I would ignore them and think they were just a jerk. Now I wonder why? Are they in pain? Is their child sick? Did they just lose their job? I now see potential heart ache and struggle in places I never stopped to look. My little men have taught me the importance of being nice in the face of unpleasantness and the power of compassion that is seemingly not deserved.

Now that I have kids, I have learned to enjoy the little things that can only be seen through the eyes of a child. Through them, I have found magic in my life. With kids I marvel at Christmas lights and lightning bolts. I enjoy the funny way birds bop their heads when they walk and the magic of a rainbow. I feel the anticipation of waiting for a grasshopper to jump and the wonderment of a balloon that defies gravity. Each day is pure, free from bias and past experience. It’s a tremendous gift.

My new life has also given me love I never knew possible and
friendships that are strong and true. It’s given me fulfillment and peace with who I am and what I want. I am a better person because of my little boys.

So, to you, my old life. I miss you sometimes. Usually in a fit of exhaustion or in the middle of a hard and trying situation. I will always look back at you with fondness and nostalgia. But, in the end, I don’t want you back and I’m glad we have parted ways.

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