After seven years together, my husband and I have gotten pretty used to our lives a deux. Although we're not hitting da clubs until 3 a.m., taking off to Mexico on a moment's notice, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, we have always tried to find the fun, and make the most of our relationship and our time alone together.
And now, I'm eight months pregnant, and we're about to add two more members to our posse. While we're so excited to meet the little guys and to (instantly) be a family of four, we're both very much aware that it's the end of an era. Okay, so it's not an era marked by crazy-partying and high-octane thrill rides, but it's an era nonetheless. And, we're a little sad to see it go.
As a couple, my husband and I have always tried to add a bit of adventure to our lives. We've been skydiving and white water rafting, we're regular hikers, we love to travel. But, I'd still say that we're at our best when we're eating at our favorite Indian restaurant, making burritos, or cozying up together at home. And it's that "simple life" stuff that I think we're both going to miss most of all. Soon, we'll be saying "so long" to those lazy days where we nap for three hours, and then turn to each other at 8 p.m. and ask, "Hey, what should we do tonight?" So now, we're trying to make the most of the easy life while we still can.
Our biggest priority: to see a movie every weekend until the babies come. Good thing it's summer movie season, and even better that I actually like all those comic book flicks (I'm proudly a huge dork). Some have been better than others, but at this point, I don't much seem to care. The critic in me has been silenced by the pregnant girl just trying to get as much movie madness in before she's housebound. Yesterday, we went to see X-Men: First Class (which, by the way, was awesome!) and shared popcorn and held hands and kissed like we were two teenagers on a first date. Our movie-going fun was hampered a bit though by the family next to us with three young boys, one of which was whining and climbing over the seats, and being just generally annoying. A part of me was thinking, "Way to ruin our good time, kid." Then, the other part of me realized, "Hello, I'm going to have two of those. Quick, think good thoughts about how cute he is, lest you incur the wrath of the parenting gods."
And still, in spite of our best efforts to spend our remaining time milking the quiet life, our weekends are still filled with baby prep and organizing and a gajillion errands. So while we're trying to embrace our child-free identities for as long as we can, we can feel our former selves slowly shrinking away to make room for babies, in our house and in our hearts.
As we lie in bed on a Sunday morning, with our big dog sprawled on her back between us, it's bittersweet to think about losing this moment, the three of us. Then, I try to flash-forward to the five of us cuddling together in bed, as a family -- my husband and me, our boys, the 80-pound dog -- and I realize that it's going to be something more powerful than I can even comprehend. Granted, it'll likely be about two or three hours earlier than I'm used to, but hey, amazing it will be.
So, here we are in the home stretch, and I can count on one hand the number of movies we're going to get to see, the number of last-minute nights out, the number of lazy mornings we have left until our baby boys arrive. It's a happy time, absolutely, and a scary time as well. I worry about whether or not we'll still recognize each other, without the freedom and the comfort that have defined our relationship up until now. But my guess -- my hope -- is that this new journey we're about to embark on will bring us to a whole new place in our marriage. No, maybe we won't be seeing movies every weekend. We won't be booking a room at a beachside inn at the last minute. We won't be ducking out to the diner at midnight for an ice cream sundae. And I'm certainly not about to jump out of an airplane again when I've got two little babies at home.
But we have so much more to look forward to now -- two little creatures that we made together, that will be discovering the world for the first time, that we'll watch grow and that we'll grow with. I have to think that every adventure we've had so far will pale in comparison to this great, big parenting thing, and that nothing will bring us more love and joy and fun and comfort than having two sons for us to share the good life with.
What do you think you'll miss most from your life before babies?
Image via Jenny Benjamin