Saying having children changes your life, is like saying it is inconvenient to be hit straight on by a Mack Truck. We have entered into an alternate universe; the life we once had now exists only in memories and photos deep in the Facebook archives. Times when I once wondered through Barnes & Nobles or met with friends for beer, have turned into bath time, bottles, bed time and prep for tomorrow. We were once casual people who lackadaisically wondered through life doing things that looked fun, avoiding drama and chaos. Now drama and chaos are the bywords of most days and our free-wheelin' times and laid-back lifestyle have been replaced with feeding schedules, nap-times and daily routines.
When I owned The Mud Shack, customers would often ask if I had children and upon hearing the word no, there was a standard silence as they went in search of the next topic. Now that I've got kids, I realize that the silence I heard was really a footnote in the conversation identifying that I was not in “The Club” and had not yet been hit by the proverbial, life altering Mack Truck. It was something that I had always sensed, ignored and at the time never understood. Like conversations I've had with military friends, who can tell me about their time in the service, but I just can't appreciate their life-altering experiences. Similarly, if you haven't been in the trenches with up-the-back exploding diapers and projectile vomit all over the back seat of your car, you just aren't in “The Club” and can't appreciate the infinite love for your children that is required.
Every few weeks I have the chance to catch up with my brother-in-law, who lives in NYC, works on Wall Street and is single. Hearing his stories is like seeing pictures from a deep-space NASA explorer. You believe that those amazing rings from Saturn and the moons of Jupiter are real, but they are unimaginable and impossible to comprehend. He speaks of nights out drinking, going to Yankee games and leaving early to make it to a party in The Village before going out to clubs with doormen that have clipboards and my favorite, staying up past 10:30. I love those phone calls, they bring back memories of times past and that alien life forms do exist.
We have gone through the first-year of life-altering hazing by our children and are in “The Club”. There is no doorman and no clipboard and if you break curfew, six am comes really fast. The rewards are smiles and those perfect moments when your daughter stops perpetually moving and puts her head down on your shoulder to give you a hug. We've loved every moment of it, I can answer, “Yes, I do have children” and relate to other parents about how the CVS diapers are awful and those Nuby sippy cups rock. I now understand the silence in those conversations and am glad that Facebook still has all those old pictures for me to peruse and remember the other life we once had.
|At a Winery|
Note: no black circles under our
eyes or spit-up stains on our shirts