Let’s just be honest, shall we? Being married and having a family is not a glamorous thing. I’m sure even the people who make it look glamorous (read: celebs) would agree with this statement. Whether you’re down in the trenches with your wee ones and overworked husband or asking your Nanny how the wee ones are and skype-ing your husband while he’s off shooting a movie in Nepal (because I’m sure internet access is good enough in Nepal to skype), you have probably had the thought that this life is not what you thought it would be.
But you know what? I, for one, am so happy that this life ISN’T what I expected.
Thinking back to the days when I only had to answer to myself, my fantasies of getting married and having a family were a weird mixture of romantic comedies (good ones), Jane Austen novels, and a Young Women’s lesson or two. I was going to be so attractive and witty and graceful all the time. My family was going to be righteous but not so righteous we were boring and we were always going to be so put-together. My marriage? Oh man. It was going to be passionate and touchy-feely and ROMANTIC ALL THE TIME and my man and I were going to be so patient with one another and we would NEVER FIGHT. EVER. Oh, and there would be gazing. LOTS of gazing. Being a mom was going to be easy breezy and my children would always look like models.
Yeah. I got a quick peck on the cheek from my husband on his way out the door and then I scraped poo off the inside of Ava’s blanket sleeper this morning.
I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the gross surfaces around my house that I can blame entirely on HER.
My fantasy failed to account for the fact that I would be adding people to my life who can make their own decisions and who have different priorities than me. Ava doesn’t care that I just scrubbed the stainless steel on the refrigerator clean, she wants to play with her magnets regardless of her grubby fingers. She doesn’t care that I just swept and mopped the floor, she’s done with her food and wants it off her tray….and on the floor. And Danny doesn’t care that the sheets and comforter aren’t perfectly aligned when he lays down for bed, he just put in a 14 hour work day and wants to sleep.
My fantasy also failed to account for life being a torrent of emotions, those emotions not always being fun or romantic or exciting. I feel at least 15 different emotions in a day…..something you can’t write into a movie or a novel. And with the fun comes the inevitable tragic end of fun usually accompanied by a head-bonk or bedtime; with the romantic has to come the mundane; with the exciting there has to be the draining and tired. If life was always exciting it would never be exciting.
Fantasies are just that: not real. They’re your life warped into what you think would be the nicest. But I’ve learned. I've learned not to let myself fantasize about how I want others to act or what I want them to do or who I want them to be. Those fantasies are the kind that penetrate and change my expectations of those I love the most.
So now? Now, I hope and dream and pray.
Annnnnnnd occasionally I fantasize. But only about spray paint projects and sewing machines, or attaining levels of education. Things I can control.
Sometimes I DO have it all together and my child is adorable and my husband is so thoughtful and romantic. But other times I’m a hot, makeupless mess, Ava is cranky and covered in dried milk and still has the cereal bar she decided to just squish and not eat between her fingers, and my husband is just tired and wants to eat food and watch the game and not talk about feelings.
And you know what?
I’m finally okay with that.