Monday, April 14, 2008

River's Eyes and Definitely Not My Ears

So I'm sitting in my daughter's dance class, reading a copy of Cottage Living. I flip to a story about this lil' community up in the Puget Sound and all of a sudden I've got the tears. I am moved by a story about cottages. First I ask myself where I am in my cycle and then it occurs to me that I'm thirty-four and maybe this has something to do with what I should have been. Cuz, crying over an article about houses is just not the norm, is it? Is this what having a passion/desire/dream/ambition about something is? See, I've never thought I had that. Never thought I had the "big goal" in life. The Dream. I know, a little disappointing. I'm so sorry. I mean when I was little I bounced between wanting to be a teacher and the next Olivia Newton John, but what I honestly imagined when I was little was being married and a mom. I couldn't wait to be thirty. I was constantly playing that MASH game where you figure out who you're going to be married to (it was always between River Phoenix, C.B. Barnes and Tom Cruise--I know, I know), what kind of house (or shack) I was going to have, (I usually got a pink shack). I was also always acting out the pregnancy process, followed by the labor was hard pushing a pillow out of my t-shirt at ten-years-old. But seriously, what I saw in my future was making dinner and paint colors. Diapers and grocery shopping. Seriously. I dreamed of messy kid house--the Cheerios in the couch, sort of thing. Taking my kids to school, bedtime stories...I prayed my kids would get River's eyes and definitely not my ears. And thankfully, I got my dream (minus River).

I guess I was never encouraged to "be somebody". And I don't mean that I'm not somebody, cuz I fully believe that being a stay-at-home mom is the equivalent to two full-time jobs (Dr. Phil said so). No really, I do feel blessed to be able to do this, because I know there are a lot of moms out there that wish they could, but just can't. And I also know that lots of mom's out there absolutley love their career and being a mother and are successful and completely happy in both. I give them big, big kudos (high fives everywhere). Not that I was discouraged at all to "be somebody", there was just not really that pressure to go to college. Just basically the big push to get out of the house and do something. When I was graduating from high school, we were supposed to know what we were going to do, what our plans were after graduation, etc... Everyone was talking about it. I couldn't say "be a mom" (though several schoolmates did choose that option)...out loud anyway. So I chose "flight attendant". I got all signed up to go to this flight attendant school out in Florida and everything. I was set to go. Then I went and visited a friend down in Tucson and went to her college orientation with her (just for fun), and on the spot, decided to go to college instead. I'm very random and impulsive that way. So I went to school. Over the course of the next 8 years, and 4 schools later, I ended up graduating with a degree in English. And promptly had a baby.

I wish we (okay, just me) could find out who we are and what we want in life when we're eighteen. It would have saved me a whole lot of time and money. It's has just taken me a little longer to realize that maybe I should have done something besides English, maybe in Interior Design instead. I absolutely love everything about making a house a home. It's probably one of the first things I notice when I go to some one's house for the first does this feel? I can remember being younger than ten and for some reason my dad had all these floor plan books. I used to spend hours browsing through them...dreaming. I spent a lot of my free time as a child drawing my own floor plans. I was a perfectionist. I had a ruler and everything. My step mom used to take us with her to look at model homes all the time. I absolutely loved walking through these homes and would envision living there--where I'd put the couch, what color curtains, carpet, that I'd have to have a sink under a window, and even then, I was all about the feeling of a place. I even daydreamed about hiding in one of these homes and living in it for a week (complete with groceries and MTV).

In eighth grade I took probably the best class of my education...Home Ec...we cooked, we sewed and best of all, we designed our own home. We had to draw a floor plan of our dream home, the look of the exterior and landscape. Everything. Mine was a log home with a huge front porch. I loved that front porch. Our teacher gave us a budget and a JCPenny catalog. We had to furnish our house, with everything, down to the appliances, and all within our budget. At thirteen, it's was just huge to care about something a little more than River Phoenix. And I did...I got an "A".

Now that my kiddos are both approaching school age, I'm starting to get that hankering. I think I'm going to want to do something. I'll be lonely, my house will be entirely too clean and I think I'm just going to have to get out of the house, and not shop. I'm noticing I have aquired a huge addiction to Craig's List. Specifically the furniture section. I visit it entirely too much. Granted, we just moved into a new-to-us home, so I've got to furnish this baby, but when I am e-mailing all my family and friends, asking them to let me know if I can shop for furniture for them, I think we've reached a whole new level. I'm a personal shopper now. An unpaid personal shopper. But, man, I do love it. However, I think school is probably out of the picture for me. I did that, don't really want to have to do papers and math again. I fear I'm going to have a hard enough time with second grade homework soon enough. But what I do love is that I have that passion/desire/dream/ambition that I never really had, or maybe just didn't notice before. I love that when I'm shopping at primitive decor shops, it feels like home. That I will sit on the floor at Barnes and Noble and look at every single home decor book there is...and then buy three. I love the fact that I get excited about table runners and embroidered pillows and that my house smells like Bartlett Pears. I might shock everyone (most of all myself) and go back to school afterall. Or I might get a job as a checker at Albertson's and spend my fortune on antique settees and rustic lanterns. Who knows, I just love the fact that at thirty-four, I'm thinking about it.

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