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Marking a Milestone

The following post is not about travel, but about being a couple that is childless by choice. The culture of most of the western world promotes the concepts of marriage and parenthood. We’ve mentioned before that the path of motherhood and fatherhood just isn’t for us, and we don’t regret it one bit.

When people, usually parents, say “Oh, I don’t regret having children one bit,” or “I love my kids, I can’t imagine my life without them,” I know we can’t imagine our lives with them. And we don’t feel cheated at all. We don’t feel like we’re missing anything, even though society often defines “having it all” as job, home and kids. I often debate the use of that phrase whenever I see it used.

But even if we don’t have kids of our own, we don’t miss out on milestones or the amazingness of watching children grow. We have friends and relatives with children. We’ve got four nephews and one niece. The mention of them brings us to the inspiration for this post: my nephew, Matthew.

I remember the day he was born. I was the first person other than his parents to hold him. If you ask me specifics about his childhood, I’m not too good at it. I just don’t have that kind of memory. I can tell you he worked on the televised morning announcements in middle school so I gave him one of my National  Association of Broadcast Technicians and Electricians (union) shirts and told him he owes me 2% of his allowance. I am amazed at the patience he shows toward his younger sister, who can be a handful, and the way he includes his younger, quieter brother in whatever he is doing.

Matthew is a smart kid. He wants to be an engineer. He’s an athlete who works hard and listens to his coaches — and he’s got a lot of them: my dad, myself and the ones at school. He even became a pole vaulter just like me and exceeded all my marks in Track and Field. I’m exceedingly proud of him. He is a great kid. Matthew is a responsible young man who you can trust to take his work seriously no matter what he’s doing. I can’t say enough about that. He helps his grandparents whenever they ask and without complaint.

I am not the best uncle or godfather. I easily admit that. I miss birthdays. I didn’t go to his soccer games or track meets. But my lack of attendance didn’t ever mean I wasn’t proud of him.

I know a lot of his success and our pride has to do with his parents. My sister and her husband did a wonderful job. I brag about them a lot and their great job as parents.

I bring all this up because he is graduating high school in a couple of days. He is completing an 18-year journey from cradle to adulthood. It’s a milestone worth mentioning and sharing with the world.

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About No Kids, Will Travel

In the eyes of their friends and family, Amanda and Zeke are a young jet setting couple without any real responsibility. In real life, the stress of work and raising a kitten push them to flee reality at every opportunity. The "lack of obligation" gives them the chance to explore the world.

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