An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Friday, December 27, 2013

First Childfree Christmas

Every Christmas for the 17 years we have been married, we have not had children.  This is the first since we decided to close our adoption file and live childfree.  December 24-26 had highs and lows in relation to IF and CF living.

Christmas eve morning, DH went to play basketball with his childhood friend.  They have maintained this tradition since they were teenagers, and I was glad he could go.  I was able to wrap gifts and get ready for the day leisurely.  This was one of the highs.  No pressure, no kids to chase.  Just simple pleasures like tying the perfect ribbon and singing along to Christmas songs on the radio.

Christmas eve afternoon, DH and I watched our DVD of the 75th Rockettes Christmas Special.  We wanted to go see it in person, which we have never done, but watching the video was still enjoyable.  Another simple, uninterrupted pleasure.

Christmas eve night was the traditional dinner with DH's family.  He did not want to go due to a conference call with his sisters on Monday about planning the dinner menu and discussing the family business.  When we arrived, I went to put my coat in the spare room since the coat closet was full.  On the bed was a box of diapers and a package of burp cloths.  My heart began to race.  I decided my niece, who has been married a year and a half, was pregnant, and one of my SIL's had brought those items for her.  I was running through my mind how I was going to control my emotions when she made the announcement.  Before my niece arrived, I was able to talk to her mom, my SIL.  I asked her point blank if my niece was PG.  She said no, that those items were for their cousin's daughter who did just have a baby.  Tears of relief came.  My SIL then said she doesn't think my niece wants to get PG for a few years, because she wants to complete her master's degree.  My SIL then told me she would call me as soon as she heard so I would be prepared for a big announcement.  While this whole scene had me in a panic for an hour or so, and was a low caused by my own mind, I truly appreciate my SIL being sensitive.

After dinner, I watched my nieces and nephews assemble a gingerbread house from a kit.  They were all laughing and enjoying themselves.  My youngest nephew, age 8, kept asking to look at my Santa App to see where he was and how close he was coming to us.  His enthusiasm was contagious. In the past, I would have been longing to have my own child wondering about Santa and making a gingerbread house.  For the first time, I felt a high and enjoyed watching.

DH and I came home and watched "The Light Before Christmas".  We enjoyed the beauty of our Christmas tree with the fire and the quiet.  Another high.

Christmas morning we exchanged our gifts.  DH is a great shopper!  After that, we went to my mom's for Christmas breakfast, my family tradition.  It was only us, my mom, and my uncle who were there.  Both of them were very relaxed, and we heard some tales from their younger days that I had not heard before.  The conversation, however, would not have been suitable for children.  We enjoyed our time with them having an adult breakfast.  Another high.  Neither of us have laughed that hard in a long time!

In the evening, we went to DH's mom's house.  She did not seem right.  We gave her gifts, and she seemed like she didn't know what a DVD was or what to do with it. One of my SIL's and her family came.  She was going to take her mom for dinner, and DH and I were going to come home for a quiet dinner together.  My SIL decided my MIL needed to go to the doctor, so she called her sister who works at the local hospital, and she took her in.  My MIL did have an infection, which was causing her to become confused.  We left on a low note and ate frozen pizza for dinner, because it was late.  This also caused me to wonder about our care in the future.

December 26, DH and I slept in and then "laid in" (awake, but in bed talking) until 10:00!  What a guilty pleasure!  We ran a few errands before deciding there were too many people out, and we just wanted to be home.  DH grilled the steaks we were going to have on Christmas, and we enjoyed our quiet dinner at home.

The lows were pretty low, but the highs of the last few days outweigh the lows.  I am pleased with our progress moving to CF living.  This wasn't the best Christmas ever, but it was not the worst either!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I'm Glad That's Not Me

This morning was the school Christmas program.  There were tons of parents who came out to listen to their children sing!  Each grade level entered, sang from the stage, and then exited.  We started with Kindergarten and worked our way up to Sixth grade.  My mom came to support me.

I was involved with setting up the stage, lights, curtains, and playing the piano while students were walking on and off the stage.  I also accompanied Fourth grade and led Sixth grade, so I wasn't part of the audience.  My mom was.  When she was driving me home (I still cannot drive since my ACL surgery), she was talking about how rude and entitled the parents are.  How they would leave after their child had sung so there were not many parents left to hear the Sixth graders. 

My mom was annoyed by the parents with their tablets standing to take video and blocking the view of others.  She watched as one lady went to ask another to sit down so she could see.  This happened three times.  Then the lady approached the other after the program to tell her it was difficult to see with her standing in the way.  The first lady returned to near my mom and told her friend she "had the F-bomb" dropped on her.

Now, I understand a parent wanting to take a picture of their child or video of their performance, but being rude to others is completely uncalled for.  I hope I would have been a nice and respectful parent, but I will never know.  I'm just glad that I'm not like the rude woman who wouldn't sit down.

By the way, my Sixth graders were awesome! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Concert

Every Christmas season, DH and I go to a Christmas concert.  We have seen the ones that come to Salt Lake regularly several times, so when we saw the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Concert advertised, we decided that would be a good change.  I was a fan of the Oak Ridge Boys when I was a teenager, and I had a couple of their cassette tapes.  We don't have any of their Christmas albums, but thoroughly enjoyed the show.

They sang some of their hits, and I was particularly touched by "Thank God for Kids".  While I realize the song is about the joys of your own kids, I know I have many of those experiences as a teacher, because "the nearest thing to heaven is a child".  I was impressed with their openness about their Christianity and singing original Christmas songs about the reason for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.

As a musician, I loved seeing and hearing Richard Sterban speak and sing with such a true bass tone.  It was amazing!

What an relaxing and joyful evening to spend with DH!