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What I wanna be when I grow up

December 3rd, 2003 · No Comments

Sometimes I entertain such fantasies. Like being a figure skater. During the season when we’re watching skating on TV, it’s easy to envy the grace and agility, the ability to fly across the ice. I’d love to be able to cut that kind of figure, the arcs and curves, the rhythm and routines, the jumps and spins. Ah but I am almost old enough to be the mother of many of these skaters, and besides that, I can’t even move myself around the rink while on skates…a fantasy for certain….

Perhaps I should learn to move gracefully on the floor. Be a dancer. I took classes as a child, and I even remember some positions. I can still spin myself around on one foot, pirouette a bit, much to Abigail’s amazement. But after awhile I didn’t like the way I looked in a leotard, on the edge of adolescence, so I quit. Now and then I think I might like to take an Adult Ballet class again.

Besides dancing, design really appeals to me. I’d love to learn more about architecture. It’s only been in the past few years that thoughts about space and structure fascinated me. I guess I lived a life oblivious to it all. When I go for walks downtown, I wish I had the words to describe what I see in the buildings or even in my own home. I like interior design too, and graphics as well. Visual beauty interests me. The closest I come to this now is making my own cards and occasional tinkering with my web log, although my desires are much stronger than what I can accomplish on paper or with hypertext. It feels frustrating to me at times more than enjoyable, due to my inability, my lack of experience and education in the arts.

One thing I do love to do is give birth to babies. Yes I love labor. Ask Ted. I’m very blessed in having shorter labors, and there’s only about an intense hour or so when I wish I was anywhere else in the world. But the process of birthing is so fantastic to me. It’s a challenge, a choice, a gift, a mystery, an amazing event. Perhaps this is the part of me that at one point wanted to be an ob/gyn. Well, that’s not a career path I’ll probably take later in life, unless med schools start to accept fiftysomethings. But sometimes I think I might like to be a childbirth class instructor, a midwife or coach. When we gave birth to Elisabeth, our nurse told us that we should teach other couples – ha! – I had certainly had my moments during that labor! – but I would love to be involved encouraging other young mothers and parents somehow someday. Right now though it would be pretty impractical to have a midwife’s on-call schedule, with my three babies of my own.

Another idea I’ve entertained at times is becoming a masseuse. I don’t think I have the natural upper body strength for it, and I certainly don’t have the time to take the courses right now. But I think it would be a great gift to be able to help others relax. Like during childbirth. Or any time. I know Ted would appreciate it :)! I also like the idea of being able to help people in deep ways, like counseling. Massage brings healing to the body, and also the soul, for the two are tied: I’ve felt my own body relax through changes in my soul. I’d like to be able to help heal others from the experiences I’ve had.

Then there’s the part of me that wanted to be a teacher. I had such fun planning classes and working with kids during my internships. Being creative and crazy with examples and experiments. Right now homeschooling my own children is fulfilling some of that fantasy. Maybe someday I might go back into a classroom again. At this time I’m having lots of fun with my own students, all three of them, and doing my own experiments in my kitchen, dissecting our Thanksgiving turkey and growing beans and bulbs on the stovetop.

One way we spent time during our days at home is playing music. I try to play guitar each morning for the girls. Music means much more to me now than it did when I was a kid. I’m grateful I received some lessons and training when I was younger, but I wasn’t that excited about it back then. It was more duty than dream. But now I’d love to be able to play guitar better. At this stage of life, I’m content to keep the skills I have although I’d love to improve. And I like writing music, creating my own songs. I wasn’t born with a natural voice – no one will be asking me to sing “O Holy Night” this Christmas! – but I am learning to sing better, with more confidence and tone. Sometimes songs come easily to me, and in the past few years, I’ve been trying to write music. I’ll never have a voice or songwriting ability like Christine Dente – and if only Ted could play guitar like her husband Scott! – but I can grow in the gifts God has given me. I can live out a little of that dream, even if I’m the only one who ever hears my songs. Recently Ted and I at times have worked on my songs together, with me singing and Ted accompanying on guitar, and that’s been fun, a little like being the Dentes. No plans yet though to cut any CDs!

Maybe, as with the ice skating, I should try writing, be simple rather than try to make music on top of it all. I do like to write. Ever since I was a girl I’ve enjoyed scribbling stories. I remember making my first book, a tale about puppies, crafted out of construction paper, when I was five. For now, working on this blog, typing together bits and pieces, is about all I have time to do. Someday I’d like to have time to write short stories again, or maybe even a novel.

But as I think about all these other lives I’d love to have, all these fantasies to fulfill, I realize that I have all I want right now. All I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. But that’s not a career that can be charted, a course that can be planned, something I could control. I can’t make a man fall in love with me and want to marry me. And as I realized with many tears as I waited and underwent treatment, I can’t create my own children at will. It’s all been a gift from God. I’ve got a marriage money can’t buy. I trust my husband’s heart, and he trusts mine. And I’ve got three little girls who are each such jewels, wonders God is unfolding before us each day. I am able to spend my days with these blessings and it is a special season indeed. There will be time enough later, God willing, perhaps to learn to do massage, or study architecture, teach about birthing babies or write lots of songs and stories. Maybe even to learn to skate and go ice dancing with Ted. But for now this is where I want to be. This life I have is my fantasy.

Tags: journal