How many of us have thought about how different life would have been had we taken a different path? All of us I suspect. That fork in your road may have been a lifetime ago or just yesterday but we have all thought about it. Someone recently asked me if I could imagine life without kids. Could I?
Well I have tried. I have wanted to travel my whole life and look forward to retiring at 85 to take in some beaches but until then, could I imagine the places I could have gone had Stacey and I never had one child, let alone nine of them…
Work is what you do to make a living so I could be doing just about anything as my kidlets did not have a whole lot of impact on the 30 different companies I have worked for in the past 30 years. It is what you do for free and with your free time that shows you what is important in your life… have my children had any influence here?
I watch a lot of TV… much of it with my kids (especially the ones that like Stargate and Magnum PI). Would I have been volunteering for the Children’s Festival in St. Albert for the past 12 years without having any children? Nope. Would I be volunteering in the nursery or 4 year old rooms at church every month? Nope. Would I be Group Commissioner of 12th St. Albert Scouting Group? Nope. Would I have ever coached soccer, led Beavers, volunteered for a dance studio or married Stacey? Nope, Nope, Nope and likely not.
So what about the travel? Would I have been able to see the world? I bet I would have seen more of it for sure. Think of all the great memories I have made traveling in the few places I have seen in North America…
California… I have truly loved my trips to California. I remember my brother teaching Raimond how to swim in Fresno. I loved stopping every 15 minutes driving down the PCH to take another picture (of a bridge, flower, beach, sunset, etc) and it was almost as much fun to force the family to enjoy my day of madness as well. I remember Disneyland and Universal Studios and watching my kids play on Santa Monica Beach. I remember countless trips to Peachfest in Penticton and trips to BC taking the kids to hot spots like the Enchanted Forest and Radium Hot Springs and who could forget dad’s infatuation with waterfalls and taking pictures of the same mountains he took pictures of last year (and the year before).
Come to think of it, all my travel memories are so good because of the people I was with. There have been some great work-ations (InterOp 2012 las vegas with Stacey and Spiceworld conferences that Stacey affectionately refers to as ‘nerdfest’) but by and large the vast majority of my traveling memories included my wife or my children.
Could I imagine a life without children? Maybe… but why would I want to?