I used to want to be a gymnast. I loved the feeling of being completely out of control spinning round and round on the parallel bars, limbs flying this way and that. I didn’t realize that the basic fundamentals of being a gymnast involved austere control of movement and balance or it would have ruined all of my fun (and actually made me into a good gymnast).
I used to want to be a tennis player. The thwuck thwuck sound of the ball hitting the racket was melody in my ears; the sqweerk of my tennis shoes braking on the tennis floor was the harmony. However, there was a bit too much sqweerk and not enough thwuck and I quickly got frustrated with my life’s ambition.
I used to want to be a writer just like my favorite authors Beverly Cleary and L.M. Montgomery so I could write about little girls getting into mischief, having quarrels with their kindred spirits, and falling in love. I soon realized that my love for words came from reading them, not writing them thought and I abandoned that one too.
I used to want to be a farmer’s wife, like the ones from olden days. I envisioned making biscuits for breakfast before my hard-working husband and sons went out in to the field for the day and then a hearty lunch of fried chicken and vegetables and potatoes as they came in for lunch. I would spend the rest of my day sweeping the worn wooden floors, hanging the day’s wash out on the line to dry, and calling on neighbors. I think I may have read a bit too much Anne of Green Gables.
I used to want to be a teacher. I adored my second grade teacher Ms. Tolliver and wanted to be just like her. She was so kind and gentle with me and even after all these years, I consider her one of the teacher’s who made the biggest impact on me.
The only other thing I ever wanted to be that I can remember was a mother. Originally, as my own mother recorded in my childhood scrapbook, my only reason behind my desire to be a mother was that I “didn’t want to work too hard.” Although my desire to be a mother never wavered over the years, my ideas of what motherhood is all about has completely changed from my days of thinking it would allow me not to work too hard. This job is the first one of my childhood dreams that I have fulfilled. It is by far the hardest one of the list; it comes with a list of trials and troubles, worries and weariness, frustrations and failures; but I also know that it is the most rewarding out of any on my list above or any that I could ever imagine. I simply love being a mother. I love the waking up early to a goofy grinning boy who starts every morning out with a silly dance and a game of chase. I love that he is generous with his love, stopping multiple times of the day to give me hugs and pats on the back. I love that when I walk into a room, he does a little dance and scrambles to show me what he’s doing or point out his toys. I love being the one he brings his books to, the one he wants to sit upon while he is read to. I love that he feels most comfortable in my arms, that when he is sick or tired or just grumpy, he wants me. If I could be nothing else in the world, or if I could be anything else in the world, I would choose motherhood again and again.