Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My list.

I just read a list of

70 Things To Do Before Having Children

Among the things to do were, visit the Amazon rainforest, scuba dive to a ship wreck, visit the north pole, spend a night pub-hopping in London, go to a vegas strip club... the list goes on.

What's missing?
Get married.
70 things to do before having kids, and getting married isn't on it.

Reading the list got me thinking. Should I have done a few more fun things while I was single, or before we started a family? What would it be like to "bare all on a nude beach."

It got my mind going on a list of my own. So here it is.

At least 25 things you will totally regret missing
out on if you spend your life on a nude beach.

1. Experience the miracle of childbirth, first hand.
2. Love someone more than you ever knew possible.
3. Get pooped on, and not even get that upset about it.
4. Heal a hurting owie with nothing more than a kiss.
5. Memorize a few (dozen) children's books.
6. Sit front row at your daughters first ballet recital.
7. Cheer from a few steps away as your fast growing baby takes her first steps.
8. Tear up as you walk away from the first day of preschool.
9. Get to know your pediatrician very well with lots of, "everything is fine" visits while you are figuring things out.
10. Feel a sweet little baby moving around inside you.
11. Play Santa.
12. Get to experience childhood all over again, as you watch your kids go through it. And actually, I'll argue to my grave that it is MUCH better the second time around.
13. Learn patience.
14. Learn patience again.
15. Ok, one more time.
16. Learn to rely on others for help. No one can do it alone 100% of the time.
17. Fall in love with your husband all over again as you watch him in his "daddy" role.
18. Hear the first "Mama" from your baby.
19. Get showered with sweet hugs and kisses and I love you's.
20. Have at least one ridiculous piece of jewelry made by a toddler, that you cherish more than your pearls.
21. Have muddy footprints that you avoid when mopping because they are just too cute.
22. Realize, your parents did the best they could, and really- you have a lot to learn from them.
23. Have a tea party with a REAL princess.
24. Have a vast selection of bedazzled tiaras at your disposal.
25. Test the limits of your imagination as you create a new bedtime story every night.

I could go on, but my dishes have piled up. This list I'm sure would be drastically different if we had any boys, but thats MY list.

Do I regret having a baby before I turned 23?
Before I traveled the world, or visited some exotic land?
Not for a second.
I wouldn't trade one stinky diaper or late night feeding for a New Years Eve at Times Square.
And to the person who puts off kids to complete their endlist list of "must do's"...
You will have a great photo album when its all over,
but you will have seriously missed out on the real joy in life.
Forgetting yourself.

You aren't giving up the adventures of life when you have kids.
Trust me, my daily adventure is way better than the Amazon.
“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”


Randy and Andria said...

I love this Heather. And I love being a mom. And I miss you. I'm curious, of the 70 things to do before having a baby, was doing a spice girls music video for the Riviera Idol one of them? Word.....up. :)

Liz said...

Heather, this is awesome and YOU are awesome. Love your girls!

Nefilinda said...

Your post is so poignant and beautiful. Thanks for your perspective. On the other side of the fence, as I am, still on the side of planning for those little ones, it is so scary to think of what 'freedom' I'll have to give up. But reading thoughts and feelings like you have shared reminds me of why my husband and I want to plan for them in the first place. So, again, thank you!

Fancy Nancy ;-) said...

If hugs, grins, and chuckles could travel across the world wide web... You'd know exactly how your letter/post impacted me today. So what if some duller than dull person created a list of 70 should have's... Those who live with the energy, perspective, and gratitude that you so gracioualy remind the rest of us to cling to... That is the real list of wouldn't miss. At the end of their list I'll bet they will start over with a list of could have's. Marriage will probably be in the top 2.

Fancy Nancy ;-) said...

You are a true source of poetic inspiration. Thank you for sharing, always thank you.

The Clermonts said...

I love this Heather! I agree 100%. I hear friends who are worried to start a family because of all they're afraid they'll give up. And we always say, its not that Ben and I are locked in our home without any way of getting out and doing things we used to do, many times the opportunity is there, but what changes is you find you would rather spend time with the kids! They become your new adventure!

10 or so years are going to fly by, and I'm looking forward to being in my 30s and having teens that can go on these other adventures with me. One of which for us is also New Years Eve in Times Square!! Why not?

allison said...

Ditto girl, Ditto. Love this post with all my heart.

Em said...

Great post. I'm with you all the way. What's that car commercial where the woman tells the man she thinks she wants a baby and then he kind of spaces out, thinking of all the things he wanted to do first....like its a death sentence. Just funny. My gameplan is more like "things I want to do before I'm pregnant....AGAIN!" :)

mspaze31 said...

LOVED this post! you are such a great writer! I love reading about you and your family. I'm so glad that once upon a time we were visiting teaching buddies ;-)

Brit Jo said...

Best post ever Heather. Thanks for helping remember what it's all about. :)

Anonymous said...

Let me guess..you're Mormon. I read that same blog and you know, no where in that blog did they diss having children. They were merely sharing a list of things they wanted to do before having children.. Before they had another person to feed, changing their financial situation. Before they didnt have the time they felt they needed. It's their list, not yours. Not everybody needs to marry in this world in order to feel like they mattered. Not everyone is going to regret not having children if that's their decision. Not everyone who wants them, can even HAVE children..how do you think they feel reading
that? And as i said, they weren't even saying anything negative on the matter anyway. Everyone has different things they want to see and experience in this world. With so many things out there, why not? We don't all want to be stay at home moms populating the world ten times over. And those of us who do want children AND do all these things as well, will find a way to do it all. Who are you to judge someone else's dreams?

Anonymous said...

And that's just messed up. Who are you people to call someone dull because they have a list of things they wanted to see and do before kids?? Did any of you actual read the original post?? They did not say that they didn't want kids!! They merely wanted to do a few things BEFORE having them! Their decision!!!

The Himmer Family said...

My apologies if I did not clearly communicate my point in this post. I don't judge anyone who doesn't have kids.

I did read the whole article, and didn't get the impression that they were suggesting that people wait to have kids, and in fact- it seemed like more of a... if you don't have kids yet, why not live it up while you can, kind of a list. It just got me thinking about if I regretted NOT waiting a little longer. That is what inspired this post. Just a self reflection that I am happy to say I have no regrets. One that is completely personal, though I think a lot of mothers would agree.