Momlando and I were fortunate enough to get a night out last week – not a go to the movies or just dinner out night – but a super official downtown Orlando get dressed up date. Our littlest one is finally getting to an age where he is a bit easier to take care of, making it easier to leave for a long night out (even if he cried his head off as we were walking out the door).
Walking through downtown made me realize, as many things do, how old we now are. So much has changed since the time I was familiar with the different watering holes or restaurants. Nonetheless, it was fun to explore as we strolled around heading to dinner. It felt great! Like a whole new world was opening up to us! We are still hip! We are still fun loving!
Things were going great, we ordered drinks and appetizers. And then, from about 10 feet away, we heard it. A table of seven or so was enjoying the restaurant’s happy hour were loud enough to overhear. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about other people having a good time. It was what one of the women sitting at the table was going on and on about…
“I just love not having to take care of anyone but myself!”
“I can go out whenever I want, and when I come home, I can just crash, watch whatever I want on TV, eat whatever and whenever.”
“I don’t want to make anyone dinner. Sometimes I just want to eat cereal and not care.”
She was bragging about not having any obligations because she didn’t have kids. She went on and on about how nice it is to go home and not have to worry about doing anything she doesn’t want to do, or take care of anyone else. Her life was entirely her own.
I swear she was saying it just to mock us. Maybe not, but we had a good laugh. Here we are moving mountains to go out once a month, and the first thing we hear is someone bragging about her freedom. True, she was probably so adamant because she was trying to convince herself as much as her friends that she was really living her best life. But it got me thinking. Would I ever want to go back to a no-obligation lifestyle?
Even when they are driving me crazy, our kids are the best thing ever. When we are out on date night, we end up talking about all the little things they do or say that week. Nothing compares to the joy they bring me. Sorry, nights out drinking and binge watching seasons of shows and nice dinners out, you’re second place.
Yes, raising children is a lot of work. But I don’t think any parent would make a different choice given the option. I know nothing about the woman we overheard. But for me, this was always the goal. I would feel like I was missing out if I hadn’t moved on to this stage of my life. So much so that I might even try to drunkenly convince myself otherwise at happy hour on a random Saturday night out.