I thought going to Mississippi without the girls would be revolutionary. Again I would be able to eat a long meal with lots of conversation. Again I would be able to go into stores without worrying about what the girls were going to break or when they would get bored. I would go to movies and go out to breakfast. And while the trip was wonderful, being able to do all of those things actually did not feel revolutionary at all. All of a sudden I realized that I had been able to do all of those things for 33 years before I had kids, so being able to do them again felt totally normal and not at all extraordinary.
It also made me realize that my feeling that my life is on a radically different trajectory now that I have kids and is completely dissimilar from my friends who don't have kids is actually NOT accurate. Really, instead of my life jumping on to a different track, I think really it is just moderately different and that as the girls get older and older, day to day living will get closer to how it was before I had kids - at least in terms of movies, stores, etc. Of course there will be all that help with homework and driving to soccer practice thrown in.