Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Dec '10

Good enough

Lately I have found myself feeling wistful for days past. This week I was in the company of several young college students at a CPR course. I was the only college grad among them, probably about ten years their senior. As we waited for the instructor to begin, one girl looked around, bright-eyed, and cheerfully asked what we were all going into. I hadn’t heard that phrase, “going into,” for a long time. Ten years ago it was one of those things I’d hear a lot: “What’s your major?” “What’re you going into?” This time I had to laugh to myself because I’m not going into anything anymore. I’m there. I’m in it.

All these young people around me were on the brink of their adulthood. What an exciting time! What kind of life will you mold for yourself? What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s when you start to figure things out.

I looked at these girls and thought about what it was like to be where they are, living life a little more carefree than I do now. Life was less about others and more about me, then. I took care of myself and myself alone. My focus was school, my part-time job, being social, having fun when I wasn’t studying or in class or taking a test. I may have felt like I was overwhelmed with responsibility, but, looking back, I wasn’t. I was so free and didn’t know it. In some ways, I miss that time.

But as I kept looking at these students, I noticed I was the only one married. The ring on my finger has been there nine years. I remember being where these girls are and wanting so badly to meet The One I Would Marry, whoever he would be. I knew college was important, but I also knew I wanted a companion. I wanted to marry. I wanted a home and a family.

I have that now. I’m in a stable, married, eternal relationship and am building upon that sure foundation with children. I am loved like I never thought I could be loved. I love like I never thought I could love.

With these blessings comes a lot of heavy, adult responsibility. Sometimes I look at myself–with a husband, two kids, a mortgage, insurance payments, medical bills, grocery lists, laundry lists, dirty dishes, dirty toilets, dirty diapers, and all–and I say, “Am I really old enough for all this? When I did I become an adult?”

You’re hardly ever alone anymore, with kids. When you’re single, you don’t want to be alone forever. And then, once you’re not alone, you’re really not alone. You can’t even use the bathroom alone. If you try to, either the toddler sits outside whining and banging on the door, or he’s in the other room pulling books off the shelves or pushing toys under the stove or taking DVDs out of their cases.

Shopping used to be fun, when I could go to unwind and look at pretty things. Now it’s more of a strategic event, involving careful timing between naps and packing sufficient snacks, drinks, diapers, formula, bottles, backup bottles, toys, etc. And then it becomes an athletic event as you lug not only the kid supplies but the kids themselves through a store in a cart, stroller, baby carrier, or gripping them by the hand or balancing them on a hip–or maybe some combination of these. I don’t go anywhere with both kids unless the store offers carts, and I don’t buy food anywhere that doesn’t have a drive-through.

I used to have time to exercise, uninterrupted. Now I sometimes put my workout clothes on first thing in the morning and stay in them all day long, trying to grab a 20-60 minute period where both kids don’t need anything long enough for me to get something done. I guess it’s good news that the ACSM has found that 10-minute bursts of physical exercise is good enough if you can get several of those in a day. But it is frustrating, trying all day long to get that done and often failing.

I miss not being tired. I miss waking up because my body is ready to wake up, and not because the baby is crying or the toddler is awake next door and banging his bottle against the wall and jumping on the bed.

And, yes, the body isn’t the same after it has carried and borne new life. My feet are bigger. My tummy softer. My legs bumpier with varicose veins and more painful. My back is chronically sore from my last pregnancy, and I don’t fit into the clothes I wore a year ago.

And yet…

How can I say I’m not happy? How can I say I’m not the luckiest, most blessed gal on Earth, with what I have? Even while typing this I paused about eight times for the kids. I played with toys with Wesley. I fed Carissa. I changed both their diapers. I helped Wes brush his teeth. We said prayers together. I asked him for a big hug before bed, and he gave it to me.

When your three-year-old is burying his head in your neck and wrapping his arms around you for a long snuggle, or when your angelic twelve-pound baby is lying relaxed and warm and content in your lap just after a feeding, how can you not be grateful?

I may not feel like I’m old enough, wise enough, ready enough for all that adulthood and parenthood are, but I’m doing it. Sometimes I do miss what life was like before, the simplicity. But I am a life-giver and a life-keeper now. That, I suppose, is good enough.


2 Responses to “Good enough”

  1. mom Says:

    When did you get old enough to be so wise?

  2. jemima35 Says:

    lol, wow! I feel as though you got in my head and wrote what I was feeling! great post xxx

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