You are the trip I did not take.
You are the pearls I cannot buy.
You are my blue Italian lake.
You are my piece of foreign sky.
Recently, WBH and I found ourselves a little wistful for the times before kids, before giant dog, before mortgage, when we could say "Hey, we've got some spare cash and nothing to do this weekend. Let's go!" Not that we would trade them for the world, mind you, but it was nice when we could. I don't think we appreciated that time enough, and how many options we had. Choosing parenthood very abruptly limits your options, it's true, but it also throws open a door to so many new experiences.
Stinky has learned to climb a tree. Having seen older relatives doing so, he decided he wanted to try, and once he was in it without my support, he loudly declared "I did it! I climbed a tree" His feet were maybe two feet above ground, but he might as well have been flying, as proud as he was. Rotten is now crawling at full speed. He watches for the forbidden things (an open door to the back room, cords, dropped food) to appear, then takes off as fast as he can, looking over his shoulder to see if we're coming, giggling hysterically and picking up speed when he sees that we are. Oh, and he climbs, too, which is terrifying.
These experiences that might have seemed mundane before my children experienced them, are nothing short of miraculous now. It's like Dorothy opening the door of her Kansas home into Tecnicolor Munchkinland. Parenting my boys is, without a doubt, a trip to a new world. So, while I love Ms. Campbell's poem, I'd like to add a few new stanzas:
You are the nights we cannot sleep,
The showers we can't take alone.
You are the laundry piled so deep,
The noise that makes this home.
You are the trip we did not take
So we could take one better.
What good is some Italian lake
If we're not there together?