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Bad Parenting Moments: Dreams Look Different Now.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dreams Look Different Now.

When I was young, I had grand dreams of living in Los Angeles. I would have a pool and everyone would love me.

Laying in bed at night, under a blanket of stars and faded yelling, I would imagine my own life with children. I would never scream. There would never kidney beans and rice for dinner. They would never try to hide their shoes behind the legs of their chairs. I would not keep bottles in my flight boots or take my children's babysitting money. Someone would always have a job. There would be a a town we called home and trees to climb.

My family would smile constantly like the beautiful people in the frames. I would be a grown-up wearing wisdom around me like a robe. There would be summer birthday parties and every weekend, we'd picnic and find ducks to feed.

As an adolescent, I longed for the soothing, breezy summers with Dad. Listening to the ivories downstairs while playing in a closet as big as a room. Begging Dad to jump in the condo complex pool in between games of Marco Polo with my sister.  Hiding secrets and one worn, Virginia Slim in the back of my box of letters from boys I loved and then moved away from. With every new home, two trash bags of memories shed to lighten the load.

I dreamed of a life, easy and carefree. Dreams looked different then.

As an adult, I have finally accepted that great understanding is not scheduled to rain down. I will continue to think and rethink my words and decisions. In times of horror, where no logic can be found, we will put one foot in front of the other, half-blind and hoping for the best. With our loved ones and children, we are not meant to live the life pictured inside of a frame.

Throughout all of my pregnancies, I would go through moment upon moment of terror. Then, they were born and love bigger than a thousand oceans occupied every atom. Every thought. Cautiously directed my every movement. My babies were the dream.

Now, my dreams are very simple.

Let them live.

There will be burdens, worry and mistakes. I will fail them. There will be sadness and longing and want, but, please, let them live.

Of all the dreams I ever dreamed, every pore of my being screams this. Let them live to be heartbroken. Let them live to be disappointed. Let them live to long to leave us and embrace their independence. Let them live to reach their goals or to fall short. Let them live to fail and pick themselves back up. Let them live with choices they may regret. Let them live to fall in and out of love. Let them live to have children of their own. Let them live. Wrap my love around them to protect them and breathe in let them breathe out live.

Dreams look different now.

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At December 15, 2012 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

Our dreams really do look different now, don't they? What a beautifully written post. I've started and stopped at least a dozen posts today to reflect on yesterday's horror and I just can't find the words to express, well, anything. I don't even know how to feel. But I do feel exactly like this. Let them live. Thanks for sharing this.

At December 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM , Blogger fishducky said...


At December 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM , Anonymous Suburban Snapshots said...

I'm so glad this world is talking about yesterday, because I'm not watching the news and it seems we're avoiding the conversation in real life. But I know we're all thinking about it.

At December 16, 2012 at 1:35 AM , Blogger TNMom said...

WOW! This is the best post I have read about it yet. Thank you! <3

At December 16, 2012 at 7:40 AM , Blogger Janine Huldie said...

I feel the same exact way and you said perfectly here. Just let them live and have no one bring any harm upon them. Scary how our dreams change though.

At December 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM , Blogger RobynHTV said...

Like you, my dreams, my thoughts, my heart have become very simple. Tragedy focuses us this way, and you've described it with eloquence and beauty. Just please, please let them live.

At December 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM , Blogger Tammy said...


At December 16, 2012 at 9:19 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Yes. This. This is exactly it.

At December 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I hit "publish" too soon.

This is exactly what I have been thinking. Every night since my girls were babies, I have prayed over them when they are sleeping. Part of what I pray is for their safety and for nothing truly horrible to ever happen to them. That part of the prayer makes me ache now. I wish I could wrap them in a protective bubble wherever they go.

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At December 18, 2012 at 2:58 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I loved every single word of this. So moving and beautiful. We all have dreams of what we think our lives should be, but more often than not we have to adjust those dreams when life gets in the way. Having lost a son already, I can tell you, I beg for this every day - please let them be okay . . .

At December 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM , Blogger Sirscha said...

Perfectly said. Heartfelt. Echos my own feelings.


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