What might have been.

26 05 2009

Next month, I’ll be heading (sans kids AND sans husband… Mwahahahahaha!!!!) to my 20th Grad Reunion. Oh, the giggles I have had emailing back and forth between the old gang and I….. I know it’s going to be a fun time. There is no one in the world like your old high school friends.

Anyways. It got me thinking about what I had set for goals in my life at that tender age of 18.  All you have to do is pick up the Sparwood Spartan 1989 yearbook, leaf through until you see a picture of a girl with a back-combed ratty blond hairdo (Gawd, the 80’s were harsh on hair, no?) and read my insert on the list of achievements I was totally going to do.  Well, according to that girl back then, I should now be living somewhere in a large city, probably working for some sort of music medium, maybe a magazine, perhaps television, or (considering technology today) more likely an internet music blog of sorts. I would have possibly been married or even more possibly been linked to a variety of (HOT!!!!) musicians and I would NOT have had any kids.

Hmm. Something along the way went way off track.

Here I am, a mom of two, and a stay-at-home mom to boot. I live in a rural area, I have a hard-working hubby, and my joys and greatest accomplishments are so totally polar opposite of what I assumed I would be way back then, that I marvel at who I was back in the day. I mean, I garden now. And I like it.  WTF? My 18 year old self would have been horrified.

For me, it comes down to realising that my underachievement of my dreams allowed me to accomplish something much more meaningful to my heart.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I sit and wonder the what might have beens sometimes. Perhaps I might have had a more glamorous existence. Maybe my career would have allowed me to spend copious amounts of money on things that I find now to be conspicuous and unnecessary. I might have travelled the world, met famous people, lived in a flat in London. Marking my life through achievements on paper. Or perhaps, I would have ended up running a small town newspaper. Either way, it doesn’t matter.

I ended up being exactly who I am supposed to be.  And here’s the kicker. I’m glad. Really, really glad that I am who I am now.

Love and all its glory.

21 05 2009

As I stepped out of the shower this morning, I was greeted by such a sweet and unbearably heartwrenching scene.

There, on the steamy mirror in front of me was the ghostly remnants of my son’s declaration of love for a girl in his class.  A sweet girl with brown hair and sparkly green eyes, an infectious giggle and a playful spirit.  “I love D. ♥”, it said, complete with a little heart in the message, obviously written in earnest after his shower last night. I laughed when I saw it, wondering if Nick knows after the steam goes away, his message would be available for anyone to see if the mirrors became steamed up again. Then again, he is fairly open with us about his crush and all the girls he thinks are awesome, so perhaps he doesn’t mind too much.

It made me think back of my first crushes. Puppy love. Sometimes unrequited, usually short-lived, innocent and yet so vitally important. I absolutely adored a boy named Brian in grade 3. My mom let me make him a special Valentine cookie for the class party, and oh, how I made sure there were ample sprinkles on it, oodles of pink icing, made by me, for him. In return, he gave a ring. Yes, I got my first bling from a boy when I was 9. Never mind it was copper and turned my finger a gangrenish hue of green. He and I were in love. Now, beyond the cookie and the ring, nothing much happened. We probably played the time honoured game of Boys Chase Girls or, better yet,  Girls Chase Boys. Perhaps we might have experimented with a furtive hand-hold in the cloakroom before going home. All I know now is, I deeply cared for that freckle faced boy. His cheeky grin and laugh are still in my heart to this day.

These trysts of the pre-adolescent heart are so vital. In playing with love, children learn how to be a part of a relationship. They play school, they play house, they play doctor (hehehehe), and of course, they play girlfriend/boyfriend.

I know this girl that my son is desperately in love with quite well. His adoration is met with some resentment, however I think she does enjoy his company, so she allows it to a certain extent. It is slightly bittersweet that his affection isn’t returned, but I know all of this is simply part of growing up, and there’s nothing I would do, even if I could, to prevent possible heartache. We all require it in life. We all need to go through the crappy times, only to understand how wonderful the good times are. And as minor as we parents think these love affairs are, our kids are experiencing real feelings, joys and sadness. Yes, they may move on to the next crush or even avoid that scene in favor of sports or friends.  Somehow, as these little souls muddle their way through it, we can all just wait and see and hope that it will all turn out okay.

But what a gift. To witness our children growing. Growing in their hearts as well as bodies. Learning to love someone, to give them their own heart. As much as I am not rushing it, I am also not blind to it, and I am deeply honored to witness their blossoming love-life, for lack of a better word. All the bullshit that goes with it  (thankfully) is a few years off in the distance. Right now, it is all about the innocence and purity of a child’s love.

Oh, and I still have the ring Brian gave me.