As a child I spent a great deal of time dreaming of family.
Of MY family. The one I would create for myself some day. The one I could prevent from falling apart.
For me, there was safety and security in this dream. Not surprising, really – I am a child of divorce. I carry the resulting weight from a decision that was not mine to make. I will admit that it takes a considerable amount of resolve to refrain from judging this weight. I prefer to see it for what it is:
It simply IS.
It doesn’t define who I am, or how I behave. At least, it doesn’t anymore.
The family I dreamt of always included a husband and three children, all of whom I dearly loved. I never went so far as to picture the gender of my children. Such things have never really mattered to me. Rather, I have been known to create long lists of names… and to focus my will and intention on the feel of those names as they slip from my tongue. As though my breath alone could be enough to carry the dream into full-fledged fruition.
When things didn’t go exactly as planned, (do they ever?) and I was finally able to really accept that, I stumbled. The weight became too much to bare. I became sad. Resentful. Bitter. Hurt.
Like that little girl who once felt like she’d lost control of her world…
The fact that I am able to write about this now tells me that I have finally moved out of this space. Where I am now is much clearer. For the first time, in a long time, I feel ready to move forward.
No qualification required. No conditions. No preconceived notions. Nothing.
Whatever will be, will be.
Life is good. It’s more than good. It’s mind-fucking, indescribably good. I can’t stress that enough…
This is not to say that I still don’t have my moments:
When at Preschool pick-up, minutes after I wrote this, an unsuspecting Grandmother makes the assumption that so many are quick to make; I had one child, so I must be able to have another. Of course she meant well when she felt the need to advocate on behalf of my son, encouraging him to speak to his Mommy and Daddy about a baby brother or sister. Of course. I know that.
When my son shows off his new bunk beds, proudly explaining that he’s reserved the bottom bunk for when he has a baby brother or sister.
When he randomly asks me when that’s going to happen, explaining that he’s picked out names… ‘Rainbow’ for a girl and ‘Tracker’ for a boy. We discuss calling her ‘Bo’ for short… an interesting coincidence given the name ‘Beau’ has long been on my list.
When I consider the kind of Big Brother he would be…
And then again, tonight. As I lay in bed beside my son, rubbing his back, he bursts into tears explaining he’s afraid that if my husband and I die he will be left all alone. He’s five-years-old…
Yes, there will still be times I feel the sting of this loss… for his sake more than my own.