So as I sit the other night rocking my sleeping son and watching “The Bucket List”, I started to wonder what’s on MY bucket list? I vaguely remembering having one around the time I started college of “Things to do before I hit 30” and for the life of me don’t know what I did with it, or what was on it. I do remember, however, that the vast majority of to-do’s were intended to be out of the way before I had kids – kid #1 was also to be before I hit 30. At least that one I accomplished, however unintentionally, with 7 weeks to spare. Do I count that as a check? I think I shall, with a huge smiley face next to it 🙂 .
I think the main reason for wanting to get some of those things out of the way is that I feared once I had kids my life would be over. MY life – the go where I please, when I please, with whomever I please for however long I please life. I can safely say, that life is in fact over – for now. Night terrors, late night diaper changes and feedings, the battle of will known as bedtime and other assorted joys have become my new nightlife. Oddly enough, besides my now rare moments of cabin fever, I prefer this to my previous out-all-night-every-night-everywhere lifestyle. It had become monotonous and frustrating with the ever nagging “is this all there is?” notion hanging over my head. In the same breath, my close friends still live this life, and I do find myself sometimes jealous that I’m missing out on the fun. The occasional venture to “join the fun” quickly cures me of this feeling and I often find my thoughts consumed with my son, who should be sleeping instead of terrorizing his victim of the moment. Grammie D and Auntie Frannie are racking up my debt on these nights, and I love them for it.
Let me get back to the “list”. Travel the world, buy a flashy European sports car just because, finally decide on a country to live in, scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, surf in Hawaii and other adventures come to mind as things I’d probably have had on that list. So do I count them as losses? Initially I thought I should, but then I realized that I now have an adventure buddy – as soon as he can walk and pull his own suitcase, of course. He won’t necessarily be my partner in crime for all my to-do’s, but who better to travel the world with than a child discovering things for the first time? How much fun would it be to learn to surf with this little boy, who would probably make me look like a clown and have a blast doing it? Then I start to feel anticipation and excitement instead of loss, instead of “what if?”. I was blessed as a child to have a mom in the travel industry who took us traveling as often as possible. Disney World and such delights are great memories and I’m not ashamed to say I enjoy them more now as an adult. Being a big kid will definitely have its advantages in keeping up with this little boy.
A good piece of advice I got just recently was to remember that while he is a priority in my life, he is not my whole life and I must not overcompensate especially being a single parent. Then I ask myself, am I forcing my wishes on him? I keep reminding myself that although these are my wishes, I need to give him the chance to grow, imagine and come up with his own wishes. If he enjoys what I enjoy, we should have a great time. If he doesn’t, then we will still have a great time and compromise – no one will get their own way all the time. I simply want him to be happy and most importantly, aware of the world out there and to know that there is so much more outside of our house, our city, and even our country.
Hopefully one day he will have his own list, and I pray it won’t give me more grey hairs or raise my health insurance premiums. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this time before our real adventures start and work on my list – for our life and MY life. After all, when he’s a man and leaves the nest I hope he doesn’t expect me to be sitting around at home waiting to do his laundry 😉 .