Many people bemoan the lack of personal freedom after having kids. These people usually don’t have kids. These people also enjoy things like pooping without an audience.
But see, having kids made me free to poop with an audience. Granted, that event is an invite-only soiree that can be attended only by people (and animals) less than 3-½ feet tall.
There have been several points in my life where I can look back and say, “Yes, this moment has changed who I am.” Naturally, the births of my children are two such moments. Those events have brought me a little closer to perfect personal freedom, when I can be who I am without getting bogged down in concerns over who likes me and do I look stupid in this plastic army helmet and SpongeBob slippers?
So what if I don’t get to fly to exotic locations at a moment’s notice? My son thinks I’m an awesome dancer and give great hugs. And I missed the premier of that new movie? Eh, I was busy making my daughter laugh by puffing out my cheeks and making frog noises.
The reckless abandon with which my kids throw themselves at Life inspires me to be just a little more relaxed and carefree myself. Until I had kids, I had forgotten how much fun it was to just go outside and play. Running around the yard, chasing each other, and rolling in the grass are simple pleasures I was entirely too self-conscious about as an adult to do before I had a two year old. Now? Try to stop me.
I used to think my parents were so not cool. I realize now that not only was I totally right (sorry, Mom and Dad), but they were merely being themselves, and they were free to do so because they were teaching me it’s okay to be yourself, even if you’re dorky.
Which is actually kind of cool.