Today, I’m feeling nostalgic.
Last night for our anniversary, Dan & I spent a wonderful romantic evening in a posh hotel room. Champagne and candlelight … sans kids.
It’s honest to goodness the first full night we’ve ever spent away from our kids in all 22 years of our marriage. Of course, we’ve gone out together and with friends, but never ever the whole night!! And, I felt a little guilty.
That is until Kenny called asking if he and Dally could take Coby into the pool. And Emmy and Elly were playing with Kady, and Rowdy and Cardy were playing with Grady … I was feeling slightly guilty until I realized everyone was perfectly fine; happy, in fact.
Our older kids kick butt! They are more than happy to give up a night here and there for us. No force, no bribery, just a big fat smile and a “Sure!” And this BIG request was no different.
So this night out was, like, liberating. But also sad. And also incredible. So conflicting! Such unchartered territory. Of course, we didn’t go cold turkey. We left and then returned, and left again late.
When we announced our plans, Maddy’s first response was, “Who is going to tuck us in?”
Ok. Heart throb moment. Thank God for Maddy who never ever hesitates to tell you what she is really thinking. My sweet 10 year old, values being tucked into bed every night. So very good to hear (although, of course, I already knew that).
I was incredibly grateful for that comment, from her especially. We already planned to not miss that. We did the obligatory prayers, tucked our little ones in bed and I nursed Coby to sleep (yep, he’s 2.5 and he still nurses at night. So what?)
And then Emmy … didn’t want us to leave. We tucked her in and waited for her to fall asleep. As soon as her eyes closed we bolted and then returned to the RV in the am before anyone was even awake — not difficult to do. We are late night people and late to rise as well!
So, you see, we ninja’d the all-night out. We may or may not have channeled the “sneaking out” skills we gained in high school …
It was a bittersweet moment, really. Incredible because Dan is my everything. He’s my husband, he’s my baby daddy — he comes first in all things. And so this was super special and heck, a TON of fun. We were like kids again …
But bittersweet because somewhere in the last 20 years my kids have gone from babies who need me for everything, to independent adults, teens, tweens, kids and toddlers. How? Why?
I’m a mom. I was born to be a mom. My whole life has been about being a mom. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to be a mom. When Kerry was finally born, it was more amazing than I ever dreamed it could be. And harder. Way harder.
But, I loved getting up in the middle of the night when all was quiet and it was just me and my sweet little baby. I remember nursing them and smelling them and trying to ingrain that sweet innocent baby smell into my brain. Sad to say, I can’t recall it, it’s been way too long.
I loved nursing, I loved that every 1.5 or so I was forced to sit down and really cuddle my precious baby.
But here we are now, 2.5 years into the life of our baby!! Yes, Coby is 2.5 years old. Elly is 4. Yes, I said 4! Can you tell it’s killing me?
Time goes way too fast. I knew it did too. It’s why we live the way we do, because nothing in this world matters outside of God and family (and family included friends who are closer than blood) so you might as well be doing what you want to be doing. You might as well be happy.
It doesn’t matter if you are rich and famous if you are not with the person or people you want to be with because your job calls you away all the time.
It doesn’t matter if you are the parent of an all-star if you never see them.
It doesn’t matter how much you say I love you, if you don’t show it.
Nothing we are and nothing we do is original, it’s all been done before. We are not trend setters, we are not courageous … we are simply where we want to be and with whom we want to be.
Life really is that simple. If you don’t invest time, love, sacrifice, and more time into the relationships you claim to cherish, you will end up with nothing. Zip.
It makes me think of the song, “Cats in the Cradle” … by far the saddest song in the history of songs. It makes me cry every time!! And, unfortunately, it defines most people today.
Most of us think there is more than enough time. More than enough time to visit our parents, more than enough time to spend with our kids. Ample time to get to know our grandkids and our nieces and nephews.
And then before you know it, time is up. I’ve seen it with our own families. I refuse, I flat out refuse to have anything but a close and loving relationship with my kids and their future families. Anything short of close is failure. Nothing will get in the way of this.
Right now we spend every second of every day with our kids, because we want to. We travel 10 months out of the year in an RV, currently in a Newmar Dutch Star.
We homeschool and travel the continent, exploring, playing, learning and living life with each other. Our whole reason for opting to live such an extraordinary life is so that we can spend an exorbitant amount of time together while the kids are still young, before they head out on their own and forge their own separate, yet connected lives.
We are taking the time now to show our kids that TIME is the greatest gift anyone can give a loved one. It’s the only thing any of us have of value.
I’m content with all things material. But, I will never be content with the amount of time I spend with my family. I want more and more and more time! I don’t understand the parents that lose touch with their adult kids, or the grandparents whose grandchildren don’t know them. What a travesty. What a waste. I mean, what else is more important?
And it’s for this reason that I’m so very grateful that our distractions are minimal and that my focus has been solely 100% on family. I hope that our all-nighters out are kept to a minimum because we are surrounded by people we love and who love us back.
Obviously, I hope we can fit a few in every once in awhile, but mostly I hope and pray that we remain deeply in love and stealing moments for ourselves out of the days filled with our family.
I’m well aware that times are changing, our older kids are starting to spread their wings and plan for their own futures. And because of this, I am so thankful that my husband is such an amazing, selfless man and that he has the strength and character and love for his family to jump ship from everything we were ever taught and do what is absolutely right for his family.
We are exactly where we want to be!