April 20, 2014

the pitter patter of nothing

Holidays are always a bit tricky for me. 

Growing up, my family didn't have a ton of traditions. During the years that we were speaking to my grandparents, we'd go to their house for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. But when my parents were on the outs with them, we simply wouldn't go anywhere for holidays. Fourth of Julys and Memorial Days came and went with little to no fanfare. 

It was something that always bothered me.

I'd go to school after a long weekend and hear my classmates talk about barbeques and days at the beach, and I promised myself time and time again that when I was an adult, I'd celebrate every holiday and make my own traditions.

Not having kids, this is easier said than done. There's no macaroni art, no construction paper cut-outs to hang on the fridge. No Easter eggs to dye, no baskets to hide. No costumes to make, no one to take trick-or-treating. No bake sales to cook for, no field trips to chaperone.  

It's bittersweet. Not having kids is my choice but there are still moments when I feel like there should be little feet pitter-pattering down the stairs in anticipation of...something. Whether it's presents under the tree or a school dance to attend, there should be excitement in the air.

Instead, there's silence. And that silence becomes more obvious to me on holidays.

Sure, because I don't have kids I can basically do whatever I want. I can sleep 'til noon and enjoy quiet meals. I don't have to spend thousands of dollars a year on presents and sleepover parties and uniforms and dance lessons. My life is 100% my own. And that - in theory - is liberating.

But, in reality? Today is Easter and Bobby is woodworking in the garage while I tidy up the office and prep dinner. And while there's nothing wrong with these things - we're both enjoying a quiet Sunday off from work - there's that lack of fanfare that bothered me when I was a kid.

Can it be that by not having kids, I've doomed myself to a lifetime of quiet, uneventful holidays that may as well be any other day of the year?

I'm sure I'll feel differently the next time I see a screaming child in a restaurant. But in this moment, on this quiet, Easter Sunday, the silence is deafening.

1 comment:

  1. Such an honest, interesting post. I can relate, having also chosen not to have children, and being non-religious to boot. I know the "no kids" decision was the right one for my husband and me but some days I can't help but wonder what it would've been like . . .


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