It was early in the morning on a national holiday. I was walking to our gym when I passed one of our neighbors as she loaded kids and gear into a minivan.
“Off to the gym?” she asked, grunting as she hoisted a toddler into his car seat.
“I would give anything to trade places with you.”
For a split second I paused, then replied with the only response that seemed appropriate. “I’m sorry.”
As I continued down the street, it dawned on me that for the first time in years I wasn’t feeling (a) judgmental (she was, after all, dissing her kids) or (b) wistful. So often in the past I would have thought how I would have traded anything to have precious kids of my own, but now, not so much. I was pretty happy with the prospect of spending my holiday taking care of myself, maybe even reading a book or taking a nap instead of having to read a book to someone else hoping he would settle down for a nap. I didn’t feel sorry for or envious of my neighbor, and I didn’t want to trade my grass for her grass. The grass was perfectly green on my side of the street.
Me thinks the healing process has begun.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with being childfree.
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!! This post brought smiles to my face. Here’s to healing! 😀
Yea for healing green grass!!!
Yes, every once in awhile you get a glimpse of the hard times with kids. Last night while I watched The Voice quietly at home my friends was struggling with her daughter to get her to fall asleep.
I’ve recently had a few of these moments. It’s good for my heart to hear that others are having them too! I feel like my heart is finally starting to heal, and it’s a lot easier to look for the good in the situation!
I love – love your quote: Me thinks the healing process has begun. I toast to your / and mine / healing process.
I am having more and more moments each month, where I do not want to trade my green grass with anybody.
Thanks for sharing…..I am so looking forward to my grass getting green once again on my side and I finally feel some hope in my heart.
I really like this. Too often, when we’re not “childfree by choice” we feel guilty for realising that hey, our grass is pretty green too.
I love this. There are so many other responses you could have given or reactions you could have had to her comment, but this is so positive. Yaay for you.