This week I learned that I wouldn’t do my life differently.
Look at this baby.
I remember when this baby was born.
Last weekend, she graduated from high school.
This is the daughter of one of my close friends growing up. She had her when she was just 2 years out of high school herself. Two more children soon followed.
The last time I saw my friend and her husband at the grocery store, they actually looked at my son and laughed. They laughed because they are almost done raising their children, and I am just starting.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade with them for anything.
I went and visited them shortly after their daughter was born. I was just a kid in college. I had never had a real job. I didn’t have my own car. I didn’t have any bills. I didn’t live on my own, and wouldn’t be ready to for another three years.
Their little bundle of joy scared the shit out of me!
In the years they were raising kids, I was going to concerts and spending money on CDs and hoodies, not on diapers and backpacks. I only had to be responsible for myself and a hamster.
You know the good thing about a hamster? If you decide to crash at your green-haired friend’s house for the night, YOU CAN! The hamster has enough food and water for 24 hours. It is a rodent, for God sake. They not only survived the plague, they spread it to everyone else.
My husband and I spent many Sunday nights going out to Walmart too late and spending money we couldn’t spare on DVDs and toys. And I wouldn’t trade those lazy nights for anything.
The way I see it, we got to enjoy our youth when we were young. My friends are looking forward to having all their kids out of their house soon. But they will still be in their 40’s by then. And as I approach that milestone myself, I am sure I won’t have as much energy then as I did in my 20s. I used to live my whole life on 6 hours of sleep per night up until I had my son. I used to go out to concerts surrounded by kids 10 years younger than me and jump up and down with them at a Good Charlotte concert. I used to be squeezed in a mosh pit. I stood up for 5 hours in the summer sun with no food or water in 2008 to listen to future President of the United States Barack Obama speak.
I was strong! I was hardy!
I can still do a concert better than many people my own age. But not with the enthusiasm and longevity and fearlessness I once had.
I waited until I was 34 to have my son. And even then, I could barely figure out when to give him formula and when to change a diaper. (I wasted lot of diapers and formula this way.) Now, at my increased age, I barely have enough patience for him some days. I can’t imagine if I had been younger and felt like he was making me miss out on stuff.
So as far as having a child, I definitely do not regret having mine later.
I am tempted to say that I do regret not working on getting a novel published sooner. But, well, I guess I had to wait for the right idea to come along and kick me in the ass.