*written 5-14-17* repost from another writing venue I have a few 😉
Today, I’m choosing to do something a bit different. instead of writing about what it means to be a mother I’m choosing to remember who i was before I was a mother. As I sit here in this empty coffee shop alone with no kids in tow I’m taking a breath to remember who I am and who I was BEFORE kids.
I feel so lost in the therapies, the diagnoses and the overall societal expectations of what the role of wife and mother entails that i often forget who i am without 500lbs of pressure on my back.
So for a moment let me take a deep breath and tell you about who i am beyond facebook groups, autism support groups, IEP meetings and homechores.
I am a dreamer, a hopeless romantic, an impulsive thrillseeker, a beer loving, hockey playing kind of girl. I love driving in the mud, if given the choice I will choose the backroad over the highway and i prefer camping over hotels. I have a thing for men in baseball caps, t shirts and pickup trucks. I love loud music and bonfires. I have always been a wild child. A different thinker, a sensitive soul, everything hits me internally which means I’m consistently broken and consistently healing.
I have always felt like the biggest misfit in this world. As if there is no room for people like me. In high school I had to be homeschooled because I would walk in the front door of school and walk straight through right out the back door. I never did anything innately bad but being led around by the hand wasn’t really my style.
Where did I go when I skipped school? Most of the time I would drive back roads with the windows down and other days (when it was too snowy) i would go to my grandmas house where we would play aggravation or just sit and drink coffee in her kitchen. She always said she would eventually have to tell my parents but she never did. It wasn’t until the day of her funeral that my parents found out. My brother was telling stores about how he had spent his graduation party money on a car and stashed it in the barn at grandmas so my parents would find out. Then I finally told my mom the truth. SHe had no clue. I’m sure now that i am older i realize grandma took the mindset that as long as I was at her house I wasn’t getting into trouble. She was so wise.
My college days were the best days of my life to date. I signed the lease to my first apartment on my 18th birthday. I lived on north campus at uofm (even though i was attending henry ford community college) with three other girls from my hockey team. I had to get my gpa up before I could get into a university. I worked full time at pet supplies plus which was a pretty cool gig. I made a lot of friends and partied hard. However I worked harder than i partied and it was during this time that i found my love of psychology.
Eighteen months later I transferred to Eastern Michigan University and moved to Ypsilanti into campus housing. I had a room in a house shared with ten other people. I had the room that opened up to the roof where we would sit and drink beer and throw our empty cans at the drunk people walking home from the club a couple blocks over.
I worked full time, went to school full time, paid my own rent, my own phone bill, made my own car payments. I was broke! I can remember looking under my car seats (at this time a mustang not a minivan) for any loose change and throwing a party when i found $1.06 which meant i had dinner! A McChicken sandwich! Anything other than ramen noodles was high class dining and worth celebration.
I miss those days. Having kids was hard for me. I never wanted them. Aiden was a new years suprise, caleb was a shock and Sabrina was the last straw (hehe).
When i graduated college I was aidens momma and would find out a week later caleb was on the way but i still held onto the career dreams I had. that is, until the autism diagnosis came along. I lost all my dreams that day. I tried so hard to fight against the fact that this was the end of the career road for me.
I watched my husband walk across the stage and pass his licensure exams to become a full architect. I was sitting in the stands with spit up on my shoulder and a messy pony tail. I went through a period of anger that I’m slowly trying to get over. Im finally letting go of all my past expectations of what I always imagined life to be and replacing those expectations with reality. I have no more career expectations and I’m just drifting through life. I’m just trying to find contentment in the few moments of happy that come my way.
I’ll admit that I still hate sitting at home all the time and homemaking doesn’t come easy to me. My heart is still on those pack roads and my spirit is still lost in that forgotten campsite at the end of northterritorial road. oh, and when people tell me “you are so immature” my heart actually smiles because it means i haven’t lost my spark despite all this world has thrown at me.
I still play. I still meet my girlfriends on the ice every Friday night and i still laugh at jokes and enjoy a beer or more. I’m still in here. Past the gray wisdom streaks in my hair and binders filled with insurance rejections, reports of low IQs and diagnoses I’m still here. And I’m still me. Still dreaming, still lovin’ and still singing to my radio down the backroads. I may have traded in the mustang for the minivan but i’ll never trade in my spririt just to fit the unrealistic societal expectations of what a mother should be. because more than being a mother I am me.