A bowl sits on the table next to me. The inside is coated in dry blueberry yogurt, the spoon sits at an odd angle. It’s left over from breakfast, on the table and not in the sink because the usual morning chaos preempted clean-up. The table also holds a bowl filled with a bruised pear, an unripe banana, and a handful of nearly dessicated clementines, proof that I really need to go to the grocery store.
Kids play the “When I grown up I’m going to be a vet, a writer, a mommy, a doctor…” game all the time. The job changes depending on the day, depending on the TV show or movie that was just watched, depending on the way the wind is blowing. What they never waste time pondering are the details. The nitty gritty details that will fill their lives and define them more than any job title ever will.
I wasn’t your usual kid. (I know, that’s shocking.) Instead of having my heart set on a career all I ever wanted was to be happy. To be happy and to be a mom.
Happiness is a state of mind that’s rather easily controlled. And well, mom, I’m that twice over.
Two goals accomplished. You’d think I’d be done.
And yet there’s all the other stuff.
Afternoons at the beach.
Cats who only want in or out just as you’ve fallen asleep.
Sweet baby kisses.
A hour spent reading on the couch.
Walks with friends.
The life we live between the big moments, between the big goals, that’s real life.
The bowl on the table. The dishes in the sink. The slowly ripening banana. This is my life.
The trashed playroom. The messy car. The unmade bed. This is my life.
The husband and children. The cat. The family far and near. The friends real and virtual. This is my life.
That child who just wanted to be happy had no way of guessing that she’d be happy in a world she had never imagined. No way of knowing that she’d live on the other side of the world, that she’d wear flip-flops even when she wasn’t at the beach, that her children wouldn’t speak French. That there would be redwoods growing in her back yard.
But she was smart to set her goals on something attainable anywhere.
This is my life. It’s not the one I imagined. But it’s definitely the one I aspired to.
(Want to tell the world about your life? “This is my life…” is the Kick in the Blog prompt of the week!)