Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dream A Little Dream.....

As a Mom, I think I've thought about this, cried about this, vented about this, and blogged about this before today. I guess it's a pervasive process; one that keeps me going in circles with no real resolution. Nonetheless, I keep throwing it out to the universe at large.

I grew up with a decent childhood between the ages of birth and around eight. From there, though my Mom tried to keep things normal, it was pretty much shite. My stepfather was a violent and abusive alcoholic and he made our lives pretty hellish. He shot guns in the house (retired cop) and shut off power and heat if we stayed home sick from school. Fun times! Definitely not.

I think somewhere in that time frame, I decided that when I had a family, I'd make everything "perfect" for them. I dreamt of the idyllic life for my future kiddos.

I had other dreams, of course, too. I wanted my life to be a certain way, and I wanted to travel, and I wanted to be a writer and.....well, a million other fantasies big and small. When you're a teenager or twenty something-the world's possibilities seem endless.

I met my husband and we started our family, and I made that my singular focus in life. I think I've challenged myself to be a great Mom. I really try, very hard, to do all that I can for my kids, while not overdoing it so that they build character. I walk that tightrope daily and try to balance it all out. The shadow of what I lived is always hanging over my shoulder, so I'm conscious of making sure my kids live as wonderful a life as I can provide for them. I would say that it has shaped how I parent and how I live and it's become, right or wrong, my "everything."

Truly, I vacillate between being proud of it, and contemplating if it's enough. On the one hand, I've met my ambitions. (with many years still to climb of course. The teenage years? Ya. We'll see) On the other hand, life is short and where the hell am "I" in it?

The truth is, I don't even dream for myself anymore. I don't think I have since I looked upon my first daughters face. That moment changed everything for me, and any dreams for myself became visions for my children. That's both virtuous and martyred in the same breath, I know.

I was reading yesterday, as I do everyday. Rick Shroeder was featured with his family. They had moved to Spain for a year because it was his wife's dream. He was quoted as saying (and I paraphrase here) that "how could he not let her have her dream?" I sighed a little when I read it and thought to myself that I'd love to do that too. How cool would that be for my kids? What an education they'd receive in culture and "life." Then I felt kind of startled, too.

Since when did "I" dream about living in a foreign city for a year? Me, that hates to fly and has never been to Europe at all? This is the same chick that worries about moving to a new city in the same province?? What the heck was this sighing about Spain all about???

The smack in the head realization hit me again, and not for the first time. I've let go of so many of my dreams, that I don't even recognize them, or myself, much of the time. I know my girls need to see me do things for myself as well. I know it's healthy for them to watch me soar as well. I know all of this consciously but then life itself seems to prevent it as I juggle their classes, their feelings, their schedules and daily "stuff" for my family and my home. When does a Mom have time to think about herself?

I know life is short. I've witnessed it's brevity time and again. I see friends and family members travelling, entertaining, taking classes, challenging themselves to take risks and sometimes I feel like I'm on slow motion or I'm just watching the world go by.

The brass ring keeps circling me back to these thoughts and feelings, but therein lies the conundrum too. I've decided to take some time over the next little while and dream a little. I'm hoping to put my dreams down on paper and start living them a little, one small step at a time. At this point, I can't even fathom any dreams that I don't then discount because they "wouldn't work" or because they are impractical. I guess part of the process will be challenging myself to stop talking myself out of not just dreaming, but doing.

Sweet Dreams.

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