I just spent the last hour hand-washing dishes while my wife and two daughters slept. I only got interrupted once to put our 2 year old back to sleep, and I am finally getting to have my time, the time I cherish so much, 11:30pm. Nothing but waves from the sound machine in the background. And a few stray crickets.
As I was washing forks and knives I stood there thinking, husband/fatherhood is hard. I mean, I was completely happy with staying up way too late having to report to nobody. Going to work on two hours sleep, but knowing that was ok because I was going to go home and take a nap until 7PM without being disturbed, at all! I lived in a two bedroom apartment by myself. I turned bedroom 1 into a tv room, and bedroom 2 into a dining room. The dining room became my bedroom, with my mattress, the one I picked up next the dumpster to replace my cot because it was free, laying on the floor. Why? Because I lived there alone and I could do whatever I wanted. My Saturday's were slumber days, and I could skip Sunday morning church if I felt like it.
Now, here I am. Wanting to watch a baseball game, but instead I am bouncing our 3 month old to sleep, which never comes. Wanting to go for a long drive just for the heck of it, but my wife wants me home because I've been gone all day. Wanting, for the life of me to take a nap, but our 2 year old is demanding that dad go pick flowers with her. Endless amounts of flowers! Hours of picking flowers!
I miss so badly being able to do what I want, when I want, with absolutely no one demanding my time. What happened?
After we got both girls to sleep tonight, I laid down in bed next to my wife as she was about to turn in also. We talked a little about life, shared a few laughs and encouraging words to one another, and I just stared. This entire blog post went through my head in that moment. From how I just want time to myself, to asking myself what happened. Before I could even dwell on the question, I looked at my wife, put my hands on my head and blurted out the answer “I can't imagine what in the world my life would be like without you”.
Time to me was fun, but it has nothing on dancing with the love of your life in the living room. Having your 2 year old climb on your back and whisper gently in your ear “I love you”. Getting to hold your 3 month baby that wants to do nothing more than smile at your ridiculous faces.
I traded a life that was for me, for a life that was for us. I've been married for 4 years, and have 2 kids. The truth is, I do miss the time I had to myself, but I would never, ever trade what I have now, for what I had then.