Myles asked me yesterday, “Momma, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Without really thinking about it I answered, “Well buddy, I am kinda already a grown up.”
Weird. Yes, of course I’m a grown up. I have a husband, two kids, a job, and bills. Responsibilities are proof of my grown up status, right? Looking back, it’s hard to pinpoint when it actually happened. I’m sure as I experience life, I become more of a grown up each day. I really do think that in the last year, I have literally grown older with my experiences (and wiser? I doubt it).
Pondering his question really got me thinking though… All through my life there was always the next step to look forward to. When I was a preschooler like Myles, I am sure kindergarten was the exciting next step. Grade school to middle school to high school to college... Holding hands to first kisses to an engagement ring. Engaged in college; just thinking about being married as the next step was the ultimate excitement. Actually living together…everyday together on our own…amazing. It wasn’t even six months after marriage that we were onto the next milestone. Watching House Hunters every night, we set out on our quest for our first home. At 22, we were so excited.
With our first house under our belt and not nearly ready for kids, it was time to focus on work, work, work. A corporate relocation to Chicago was our dream come true. We had talked about living in Chicago since we were in high school. Somehow, we had managed to make it happen. It was in Chicago that we got that next step in mind. Baby fever. We waited until we moved back to Michigan, but we were definitely looking forward to the next step. Myles came and we were never happier. A similar feeling crept up again 18 months later and yes, we were pregnant again, this time with Jillian.
We don’t live fully for our children. (Anymore - I’m so glad I am out of the phase in life where I thought I needed to be with my kids every moment. Never leaving Myles alone for a night until 19 months old probably just wasn’t healthy.) We have to have accomplishments we complete on our own as adults to carry us through as well. Running more half marathons (maybe a full – nah, I doubt it), writing a blog (with more readers that I could have ever imagined – thank you!), striving for excellence and respect in the workplace, maintaining a wonderful marriage of ten years this summer, and raising two awesome kids will do for me. My husband, Benjamin, is working as I type to see a dream materialize. He will be opening an insurance office next month, with one of his best friends from elementary school.
Goals and accomplishments will come and go over these next “middle years” of our life. I’m okay with the fact that I can check off many items of the typical to do list of life.
I’m so glad I am ready to simply enjoy the checkmarks we have accomplished. I think it’s just called living life and enjoying the small things.