Because I have been remiss in writing, I feel I am a newbie once again. That said, pardon me while I get a little manic and scatter-brained.
Before I get to the meat of this post, I am showing a bit of my giddy school girl geekiness. Understand, my geekiness is for technology that has existed for years, but the technology is newly in my hands. Ack! I have the technology; I can make it better, stronger,… Wait. Wrong reference.
Surely you smartphone folks are familiar with Bluetooth. I never paid much attention to the word “Bluetooth”, because nothing I owned offered it. My work laptop has a “Bluetooth” icon thing in the top banner thing-ga-ma-bob (it’s a Mac), but I was oblivious to what it was or did.
Enter Christmas time. I wanted to upgrade my cell phone to the 21st Century. No, I wasn’t going all crazy and joining the smart people – er – smartphones. Rather, I was just looking to get a phone with a keyboard, so I could stop pressing the numbers multiple times to get to one specific letter. While I don’t text much, I dreaded receiving texts from others, because it took me close to two hours to respond, due to the lack of a ‘keyboard’.
So, the phone, a Samsung thing-a-ma-bob, comes with Bluetooth. The sales person was telling me all about it, and I just smiled and nodded, clueless as to about what she was talking. I’m polite like that.
Then, on one random day, I took a picture with my new cell phone. I got the typical wire and connected it to my laptop to transfer the files. I cannot tell you how I figured out what Bluetooth could do, but I can tell you I figured it out – and I only connected the wire to my laptop once.
Now, I can send the pictures from my phone to my laptop with the Bluetooth. ACK! BLUETOOTH!
I select the pictures, click send via Bluetooth, and BOOM! The pictures are being sent through thin air to my laptop. It’s as if I am living a scene out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I even look around to see if I can see the particles in the air, as they travel from my phone to the laptop. ACK! Is it ever cool!
Where was this technology when I was in the midst of my Project 366:: A Photo A Day? Oh yeah. It existed, but I just wasn’t in possession of the power. But now… now I have the power. My pictures do not have the quality of my antique camera, but come on – sending the pictures through thin air? Who needs quality?
Okay, on to the meat of the post…
Last night, Rob and I went to a neighbor’s house and enjoyed a night of apps and drinks with three other couples. The boys spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa, so Rob and I were free to come home as early or as late as we wanted, as well as wake up as early or as late as we wanted. Though our dogs did not get the ‘as early or as late as we wanted’ memo, and they had us out of bed before 7am.
This morning, Rob sat at the dinner table with his laptop trying to find a solution to our latest car transmission issue, and music played in the background. Let me be more specific, music came through the speakers of a Boom Box. Let me be even more specific, music came through the speakers of a Boom Box via a cassette tape made in 1991. I’ve included a picture of a Boom Box, as well as the cassette tape portion of the Boom Box. And, yes, I am using capital letters when I spell Boom Box, because I respect the antique.
Alas, I digress, for this portion of my post is not intended to highlight the Boom Box or the cassette and cassette player, though both demand top billing and respect.
While washing dishes from the gathering last night, I was listening to the music and enjoying the slow pace of the morning. I was enjoying the fact that the boys were not home, and I did not have to be at their beck and call. And, I admit, I let myself think, “Wow. It is so nice to have no kids. I like this kid-free married life. I could get used to this way of life.”
Of course, I love my boys, and I look forward to them coming home later today. Moreover, I look forward to reading “Sea of Monsters” with Joe before bed tonight. Actually, I think we are going to watch “October Sky” with the boys tonight. Regardless, I love my boys, and I’d much rather have them in my life than out of my life. Still…
What a wonderful morning was being had by me, Rob, and the dogs. Then a feeling of regret came over me. As I was (and am) enjoying a kid-free morning, I thought about my parents who never enjoyed a kid-free morning.
My Mom and Dad, parents to six kids, never had the chance to wake up at their leisure and enjoy a morning at their leisure without having rugrats running around the house.
I am certain, if I called my Mom and asked her if she wished she and Dad had a kid-free night/morning she would laugh and say, “We didn’t even think of things like that.” Sure, she would have enjoyed it, but their generation was not about freedom and self-indulgences. And yes, I do believe a night out with friends is self-indulgence. Not an extreme one, mind you. And, I do not mean it is a bad thing. I simply realized this morning that my morning freedom is truly a luxury, and it is not something that is a ‘given’ or even ‘deserved’, if that makes any sense.
Are kids better off today because more parents have the luxury of going out and having kid-free time? Are marriages better off today because more couples have the luxury of going out with their spouse? I don’t know. What I do know is that I have many friends that do not get to get out and enjoy a kid-free night, let alone a kid-free morning, and these friends are doing fine. Although I believe that if they were given the chance to enjoy a night/morning without the kids, they would take it. Especially if money was not needed to enjoy the freedom, because sometimes it is financial reasons that keep us from such self-indulgences.
Perhaps that is why my Mom’s generation didn’t even think about kid-free nights and kid-free mornings. Money was tight. For the most part, people lived within their means, focusing on the family rather than themselves. It’s not a bad way to live, really. Frankly, the United States needs more families living within their means. Still, I am grateful for our kid-free night and morning, and I am sad my Mom and Dad did not get the chance to enjoy it first-hand themselves.
Now if you’ll excuse me. While the house is still quiet and I am awake (two things that rarely happen at the same time), I am going to snuggle on the couch and read a book. And that, my friends, is a luxury my Mom and Dad were able to enjoy, and my Mom still does enjoy it.