Thursday, December 18, 2008

You Ruined Everything

So I know that I said I probably wouldn't post in the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to share a thought I had. Yesterday, we got a babysitter and went to my company's Christmas party. We don't get out much since having kids, even more so due to my daughter's autism. We found ourselves out to dinner, without the kids, but as is common with parents the world over, we ended up talking a lot with others about the kids.

The thought caused me to reflect back on life with Gorgeous Wife before the kids. We stayed up late on the couch to watch movies together. Or we went out to watch movies together, or dance, or eat out, or whatever. We had more energy and less stress, more time and fewer bills. Yet, like most parents, we'd have the kids all over again if we had the choice.

Ronnie Shakes once said that to know if you loved somebody, you simply had to ask yourself, “Would I mind being destroyed financially by this person?” Nerd musician Jonathan Coulton wrote a song about the subject with regards to kids, with a chorus that just about perfectly describes the sentiment: “You ruined everything/In the nicest way.” His background info on the song is a tongue-in-cheek description of that strange transition from living your own lives to being at the beck and call of a little diapered dictator, yet somehow being okay with it:

I was having a conversation with a friend who had recently become a parent, and she reminded me of something I had forgotten about since my daughter was born. She was describing this what-have-I-done feeling - I just got everything perfect in my life, and then I went and messed it all up by having a baby. I don't feel that way anymore, but the thought certainly crossed my mind a few times at the beginning. Eventually you just fall in love and forget about everything else, but it's not a very comfortable transition. I compare the process to becoming a vampire, your old self dies in a sad and painful way, but then you come out the other side with immortality, super strength and a taste for human blood. At least that's how it was for me. At any rate, it's complicated.

Keep ruining everything, kids. For some strange reason, your parents don't seem to mind.


Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

And they will keep inventing new ways to ruin everything for about the next 30 years. Welcome to real life. Enjoy it.

Smendrick said...

"Before you were born, Jack, your parents were happy. They were free." --Capt. Hook in "Hook"