They are tricky things. Ideals that you cultivate and nurture then tuck in the recesses of your heart and mind. And often you don’t know you have them until they are unmet. Then reality carves out a new road that is nowhere near the beaten path your expectations had forged long ago. It leaves you disappointed and maybe even a tad resentful if you aren’t careful.
I have expectations. Most of which I didn’t know existed . . . until they didn’t materialize. Like, for example, as a new wife I was certain that I’d save my poor husband from the barbarianism of being a single man and that he’d be eternally grateful for my delightful and detailed homemaking. But, the fact was (and still is) that he was better at making scrumptious meals (sans recipes) and far more meticulous in cleaning than I’ll ever be. So, I still do most of the cooking around here . . . but his meals are better. And cleaning, well yes, I still clean . . . but his cleaning is just . . . cleaner.
And as a mother, I had visions of fresh baked bread being served up at least 2-3 times a week. But a couple kids with flour allergies have made the time in between loaves widen.
And, I dreamed of walks.
When we moved out to the country, I had mental pictures of long walks along winding paths where bluebonnets grow and birds sing. I thought the five of us would stroll hand-in-hand and talk about the beauty surrounding us. It would be peaceful and fulfilling.
But . . . I have boys. They want to take a stroll with their mother just about as much as they want take a bath in the evenings. (Which, FYI, means that they abhor it.) Smelling flowers and watching the cows in the adjoining pasture was far more entertaining when they were under 3 years old and I’d push them in a jogging stroller during my run. Now, they want to scooter or skateboard or ripstick. They want to ZOOM as fast as possible past all of the things I wanted us to gaze at and admire and use as an opportunity for learning.
So, I could force them to hold my hand (horror of all horrors) and stroll with me. Or . . . I can modify my idealistic expectation for now.
So, after many exhausting years of trying to make my reality fit into the narrow box of my expectations, I’m learning to relax and release. Fresh bread only gets baked twice a month. Our pantry is better organized by my husband than me. And I walk really fast, past the flowers and chirping birds, staying keen and alert for oncoming cars as my boys wiz around on skateboards and scooters.
Their smiles are broad and bright, their eyes wide and happy. And I realize . . . that it’s still pretty ideal after all.
Bless you today,