Monday, April 15, 2013

On Never Making It to Disney

I write this from the second bedroom of my parents' house in Florida, where I am visiting for a week. I snapped a shot of the view from my window earlier today. Lovely. The sweet mother of three of I sat next to on the plane was stunned to learn that this is only the third time in 20 years I have visited my parents here. And stunned to learn I never have been to Disneyworld, and that our children have never been either. "Never?" she asked, with her eyes widening.

She and her husband were taking their three children to Disney for the second time in five years. I have no clue if they simply have a much bigger family budget than we do or if they are living with credit card debt or if grandparents are footing the bill, or whatever. That is not the point here. The conversation made me think about the choices my husband and I have made throughout 20 years of married life, choice other families don't make, or haven't had to make. The conversation is helping me reflect on my vocation.

We made a decision early in our marriage to not use credit cards ever. And we haven't. This means we only go on vacations that we can afford, with money that is sitting in our bank account. We also decided to build our family budget, including our mortgage, with the assumption that only one of us would have a fulltime job. And for most of our marriage, only one of us has. Most of the time, that person has been my husband but there have been times, prebabies, where that person was me.

We made these choices because we didn't want the pressure of affording stuff we didn't actually need to control our lives. We wanted our marriage and our children to be the centerpiece.

This is why coming here, alone for the first time in a long time, has been so exceptional, so unusual. Even when one of us has had the rare business trip, we have tried to have the other, or at least one of our boys, come along.

And so as I reflect on the soon to be ending season of having children at home,  I have no regrets. We never made it to Disney, but I cherish the time we have spent together as a family, and all our handmade adventures.

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