On the eve of my son’s most recent birthday, my only child sat up in his Marvel superhero clad bed and, with tears in his eyes and a shaky voice, managed to proclaim with the flare and drama that only a soon-to-be-7-year-old could pull off, “I didn’t think my life would turn out this way!”
Taken back by the choice of words accompanied by the tears rolling down his cheeks, I was concerned. My little man was in distress. He hadn’t been on this planet for even a decade and he was already saying his life wasn’t how he’d imagined it would be? What could have possibly gone astray in his little life to have caused a reaction such as this one?
“Xi, why do you say that, sweetie?” I asked while wiping away plump tears. “What’s so bad about your life?”
Between sobs, he slowly explained that in his haste to choose the profession he was going to be when he grew up (a professional YouTuber, obvs), he was giving up on other lifelong dreams he had like being a pizza delivery man.
“What about all the hungry people in the world, mom?” he said with great concern.
I smiled at my little man and happily told him “Buddy, you can be a professional YouTuber, a pizza delivery man, AND anything else that might interest you along the way that you haven’t even discovered yet.”
His eyes widened.
His face brightened.
“Mom! That’s EVEN. BETTER!”
He giggled, snuggled his stuffed penguin, Georgie, and went to sleep as a 6-year-old one last time.
I laid next to him and before kissing him goodnight and turning off the light, wondered just how many times I’ve thought to myself “I didn’t think my life would turn out this way!” with tears in my eyes for one reason or another. And as I near my 42nd birthday later this year, I think about all the things that aren’t the way I thought they’d be in my life.
Do I have my dream job?
No, but I have one where I adore my co-workers, am respected and valued by my bosses, and dare I say, I do pretty damn good work while I’m there, too.
Do I drive a fancy car?
No, but mine gets to where I need to go…safely at that. And when I press it’s horn it cheerily goes “beep! Beep!”
Do I live in a swanky house?
No, but I have adorable built in bookshelves for my literary darlings and am within walking distance of a great brewery, diner, park, and place to get vinyl to spin on my record player.
Do I have the latest cell phone?
No, but my 6-year-old Samsung Note still takes great pictures, gets me around the ‘net, and even allows me to, get this, make phone calls!
Do I have a whole gaggle of children?
No, but I have a sweet, thoughtful little boy who challenges me in the most amazing ways that allows me to grow both as a mother and as a person. A little person who, without, I wouldn’t have thought about any of this.
So maybe my life didn’t turn out like I thought it would either, but you know what?
It’s even better.