It’s really, really hard to give up the dream of having a large family, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your dreams and life is over. Hard to hear now, but I have felt the sting of having that choice made for me and understand that there are things God wants me to do outside of taking care of five children. It’s taken years to get to this place, and even now sometimes it’s difficult. As the Bible says, My plans are not your plans. He has a different plan for me.
You haven’t failed because you don’t want more children. It doesn’t mean you don’t love the kids you already have. My little one was so hard in the beginning I wished for another baby – that is, a different one than the one I held. I felt horribly guilty about that, but I see now that it was a completely rational things to want. Who in their right mind (or any mind, I add that for us mood-challenged folks) would want a screaming, squirming little human invade their house, especially when the screaming went up to four or five hours a day? Who would deliberately want that in their life?
My plans were a large parcel of land with a small house in the center of it. My children would play and wrestle and be rambunctious in the front yard while I would tap tap tap on my computer, barely supervising the boys, writing beautiful novels that sold enough that I wouldn’t have to get a 9-5 job. The neighbors would ride by on their bikes, waving or stopping to ask if we wanted some of their strawberries.
What happened to that dream? It’s true my child bearing time is over -and regular readers of this blog wish I would just shut up about it- but what about the rest of this dream? Two years ago moved from a major metropolitan area to a smallist/mediumish city. When we first moved here I was distressed at how little there was for us here. No museums for adults, no aquarium, limited shopping. The great excitement folks had about the new Olive Garden opening embarrassed me. To think I’d wanted to live in a smaller town than this! When I saw a piece about my old home on Travel Channel I cried for twenty minutes. I guess I’m not over that love affair. I may never be.
I have a friend who was a professional dancer. She studied dance in school, auditioned for companies and found a match. After a year or so she was tired of it. She admitted that even though she was living her dream, it turned out it wasn’t what she had hoped for. She moved on to another career and is happier there than she ever was as a dancer.
I have other friends who have seen their dreams come to fruition and are very happy, but I think dreams changing and evolving are part of growing up. It’s not that grown ups should have no dreams, no, not at all, it’s just that we get focused on different things and have new aspirations for our self. A random woman on the phone told me my brother school not give up his dream of being a rock star. She said you should never give up on your dreams?
Huh? Should a thirty year old man have the same aspirations he had at fifteen? If so, how long is “never”? Forty? Fifty? Do we need another fifty-five year old prancing around a stage in pleather pants? Can the “never give up on your dreams” crowd literally mean you should not reevaluate what you really want occasionally instead of holding on to something inappropriate, and realistically – not even what you want anymore? I’m not talking about learning the hard way to be realistic, I’m talking about taking a hard look myself and seeing if what I thought I wanted is still what I want. Answers will vary.
There are wonderful, positive things about here, even though I don’t like to admit it. (Who wants to be wrong?) We know most of our neighbors by name and our kids play together in the cul de sac. Our church and Small’s school are four minutes away walking. She has best friends she plays with a walks home with. We’re near a place that makes great sweet potato fries. We’re near a Sonic.
I’ve gotten some of what I wanted, and I’m learning to be so thankful. Who knew the happiness this would bring me? I’ve gotten a lot of the blessings of a small town here. I’m not writing a novel because I’m focusing so much on writing these devotionals. For now, according to my Pastor’s wife and according to my own convictions, this is what God wants me to do. I believe some people are being encouraged and helped, and no matter how few, I am thankful I can be a part of that.