Growing up I had very distinct goals for how my life would go as an adult. Dreams, I should call them; not goals. Goals are targets that with planning can be achieved. Dreams are the first step towards goals but are often slightly too lofty to be easily plotted and achieved… but I digress.
Yes. I had dreams of how my life would be as an adult. My dreams started in a simple enough house, situated some distance off the road, at the end of a long drive shaded on either side by mature fruit trees standing in neat rows of sweet glory. Behind the house was a heavily shaded back yard of lush grass, and nice shrubs and flowers. The yard would be small and strictly off limits for dogs and wild children digging, climbing, and other wise wrecking the serenity. Outside the white picket gate would be shops and barns and all the play space children and dogs could ask for. At noon my farmer husband would drive up to the house for a lovely lunch. Afterwards I would go with him to help with fence mending, cattle work, or some other farm chore. In the evening we would enjoy another wonderful meal, then the children would wash dishes before joining my husband and me on the back porch for some family time…..
Back to reality.
The reality is I live in an old house that needs a ton of work. And while I did marry a man in agriculture, his job is far from free enough to allow him to be home in time for bed, let alone any meals! And the dishes thing… well, there is still hope for that, once the kids get big enough to be trusted alone.
The reality is, parenting will never fit into some tidy little mold. Parenting is much more often breathing things like “thank goodness duck poop washes out!” after lifting your 15 month old son’s Tshirt out of the washer. Because parenting is much more often discovering that innocent “mud” you thought he had on his hands and shirt while you picked the garden…actually came out of the south end of a north bound poultry.
Parenting is much more often washing wet panties because you told your daughter she just went tee-tee when she asked to go to the bathroom (that she loves) that is creepily situated at the back of the store in the stock room! Parenting is much more often apologizing as you pull said toddler from her car seat, crying because she is doing her best not to full blown pee her pants. So you have to let her tinkle in the car trash can. Only to turn around and realize the guy, who was supposed to meet you in that parking lot to buy eggs…is pulling up right behind you.
Parenting is realizing that some times day clothes make better swimming gear than swim suits do. It’s letting go of expectations for the morning, to go outside and blow bubbles and eat popsicles. It’s giggling at your little man trying to jump like his big sister. Parenting is cooking one frozen pizza for the kids and saving a second to cook to eat alone with your husband when he finally gets home at 9:30 or 10pm. Parenting is looking at your children attempting something you know won’t end well, putting a hand on your tummy to think “and I have another one coming!” Then smiling like a fool because the entertainment will continue. It’s none of the things we dream of… and yet, some how it is.
I still dream about that house (mostly the deep shade and lush grass part.) And I’m sure some day we’ll make that a reality. For now, I’ll just enjoy the ride. And eat the best pizza at 10 o’clock at night.