August 13, 2006

(Un)Fulfilled Dreams

While giving Monkey Boy his bath the other night I had one of those special mommy fantasies. You know, the ones where you wonder what would have come of you if you hadn't settled down and had kids. I try not to do it too often but it must have been a tiring day and I let myself dream just for a few minutes.

First, I would have gone to college. I watched my own mom go to night school. I always said that I'd go to college before having a family. But I had kids a lot sooner than I expected and it wasn't feasible to go to school at the same time. By the time we could afford it I had already decided that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom for the next 20 years. Perhaps I'll be ready around the same time as Monkey Boy.

Second, I would have been an interior designer. It was a dream of mine since I was 12. For christmas one year I received a drafting table and I used it frequently to lay out new plans for decorating my bedroom. I rearranged furniture about once a month all through high school. It must have driven my mother partially insane. Now I have mostly hand-me-down furniture and a huge pile of decorating magazines. I have yet to really decorate.

Third, I'd have owned a fun car. We have always had hand-me-down cars as well as furniture. Most of them we got rid of because they didn't pass the smog tests. Four years ago we bought our first brand new car, a Toyota Sienna. I love my van! It's the best gift the Theologian has ever given me. But if I didn't have kids I'd be driving a powder blue convertable Bug, one of the new ones. I could definitely see myself zipping around in one of those.

Fourth, I'd probably own a house. On land. With trees. In Washington. That's my biggest unfulfilled dream. We lived there(in WA in a house with trees and land) briefly and it was the best year of my life. Moving away was heart wrenching. But we felt the sacrifices we'd have to go through to stay were too much to put on the kids. And I believe we made the right choice. But it doesn't stop my heart from aching still.

Fifth, I'd be dolled up. I would have the hair, the nails, and the clothes. I'd look like a true Mall Chick. It's vane, I know, but darn it's so nice looking some days. It's what every girly girl wants. But I gave up all rights to my body and anything adorning it a long time ago. Women that have kids and look perfect at the same time aren't actually raising the kids. They are delegating that to someone else.

After spending my indulgent five minutes of bliss I said the same thing I always end up saying. "But you'd be unhappy." Materialism never satisfied anyone. And more than that, I always wanted to be a mommy, even before I knew what an interior designer was. In my simple childish head I dreamed of babies to take care of. I wanted to stay home and raise them with the help of my high school sweetheart. I wasn't going to be happy until I fulfilled that dream. And now when I look over my life I can see that is exactly what I have. It cost me everything else that I thought I wanted but it was well worth the sacrifice. I'd rather have my kiddos in CA than a VW Bug in WA.

So I enjoyed my baby a little while longer in his bath. I played peek-a-boo with the towel after drying him off. I put him in his dinosaur jammies, read him a story, and kissed him good night. And he rewarded me for coming to the right conclusions yet again. "I think you're the nicest mommy." If I'm sleeping, please don't pinch me. I want to live in this for a while longer.

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