"Child-free" is supposedly the politically correct terminology for adults who, for whatever reason, do not have children at the moment (as opposed to the old-fashioned label "childless"). At first "child-free" struck me as a bit mean-spirited. Aren't children our future? Aren't we privileged, educated, problem-solving first-worlders somewhat duty-bound to reproduce, at least in limited quantities, to make sure there's someone out there to fix the mess our planet is in? And, as anyone who's set foot in Baby Gap knows, aren't our offspring —especially the infant variety—just cute, cuddly, and generally to be wanted and adored?
This Saturday morning, as I write this just before noon, I have only recently gotten out of bed. I woke up at about 11, decided not to go to the farmer's market after all because it looked like it might rain, and flicked on the TV to catch the end of some cheesy HGTV show. It was very nice just lounging around with Nick and the cats, not worrying at all about the tick-tock of the clock, the to-do lists, or the terrible state of our laundry.
Now, in the "childless" era, I might not have been able to enjoy this. I might have gotten up two hours earlier and jumped into Taskmaster mode. "We're childless, honey!—we have a deficiency to be compensated for by productivity! Get ON IT!!!" Instead, I am sitting here writing in silence. Nick is playing Gran Turismo 4. Coffee may be brewed in the near future. Breakfast may be cooked in the early afternoon. At some point, I may open up a book I've been wanting to read (Angels & Demons, which Nick bought in an airport and thought was better than the Da Vinci Code), or maybe I'll play some World of Warcraft.
It's an unabashedly child-free moment, and I'm loving it. Perhaps the new, politically correct term for renters can be "house-free"?