Over the past 24 hours I’ve frequently found myself thinking about just how blessed I really am. For example, yesterday evening I spent some time at our neighborhood pool reading the new Corey Taylor book (he’s the lead singer of both Stone Sour & Slipknot, two amazing rock/metal bands, in case you were unaware), & during my time there I kept thinking to myself how absolutely perfect the evening was. Taylor’s latest book is, as always, both astoundingly hilarious & devastatingly profound, so that alone would be enough to make for a pleasant evening. (It’s called You’re Making Me Hate You, & you can find it on Amazon.) Add to that the pristine peacefulness of sitting by the pool watching the sunlight filtering through the pine trees, creating dancing shadows & shifting shapes on the fence. Furthermore I had the pool entirely to myself for quite a bit of time, so I said “To hell with safety” & swam alone for what was probably the first time in my life. To be clear, I’m a perfectly adept swimmer, but the nurse in me was screaming “No one should ever swim alone, not even Michael Phelps!” But I silenced that voice because, as I said to myself then, what’s the point of life if you don’t take a few (calculated & intelligently planned) risks now & then?
Additionally as I walked back to the house after my time at the pool, I found myself watching the sky in utter fascination & awe. It doesn’t matter how many beautiful clouds or sunsets I’ve seen; each new experience is just as meaningful & stunning as the last. As I stopped to take a picture of the vibrant blue sky with feathery white clouds, I thought to myself, “THIS is why I want to have kids someday, so they can experience the beauty of nature & the simple pleasures of being alive.”
This of course led to further pondering about why I do in fact, after much deliberation & a boatload of self-doubt, want to be a mother someday. I don’t want to be a mom so I can have a “mini me” running around. God knows, the world probably doesn’t need that! Ha! I don’t want to have kids so that I can live vicariously through them, to have them fulfill the dreams that I haven’t yet fulfilled myself. And I don’t want to have kids just out of fear that I’ll regret it someday if I don’t. Furthermore, though it’s tempting at times, I don’t want to have kids just so I can “keep up” with my friends who are pregnant & starting their own families now.
No, I want to have kids so I can share with them the intense pleasures of being alive. Yes, going to college & obtaining a great career is wonderful. Indeed it is exactly what allows me to live a financially stable life in which I can have, within reason of course, almost anything I want (decent vacations every year, concerts to see my favorite bands, going out to eat with friends on a regular basis, etc). But I don’t want to have kids just so I can see them grow up to become doctors or lawyers or scientists or whatever else represents “success.” To be clear, I’ll be damned if they grow up to be ignorant fools who are a burden on society. Of course I want them to be successful . . .
But more than that I want them to be happy, to understand that the point of life isn’t just to have a good career, own a house, get married, etc. The purpose of life is simply to live it, to soak up as many experiences as we can during our short stay on this earth. I want to have kids so I can share with them the feeling of the wet grass beneath our feet & the sand between our toes. I want to sit under the stars with them & stare in wonder at the nighttime sky, to watch a sunset & feel the magic of simply being alive to witness it. I want to share with them the beauty of the mountains & the beach & the Fall leaves as they change colors & drift to the ground. I want to share with my kids the pleasures of exploring the world & learning about different cultures & people & ways of life on this planet we all call home. I could go on & on, but I suppose you get the picture by now.
As I’m finishing up this post, it occurs to me that my husband & I moved to NC three years ago today. What a crazy day that was! When we moved here, I had no idea if I’d really like it or not. I had no idea if I’d be able to adapt to living in a city with almost half a million people, in a culture that is very different than anything I’d ever known previously. In reality it took a few months, closer to a year I suppose, to start making friends & really feeling at home here, but now I love this area & can’t imagine a better place to raise kids someday. Amazing how life works out sometimes when you take a calculated risk & run with it!
I’m not sure really what the exact purpose of this post is other than to say that I’m once again reminded of the gloriousness there is in just being alive & having the chance to chase your dreams while also relishing in the simple pleasures of life that make this journey truly worthwhile. As I draw to a close, a storm has just rolled in, & as the rain pours down & the thunder snarls, I’m reminded once again of the beauty & power of nature. I grew up being terrified of storms, & even now I still feel an initial blip of fear whenever a storm starts. But I’ve learned that storms can be beautiful. So instead of sitting here in fear like I would have for most of my life, I’m going to watch the rain, listen to some music (but not loud enough to disguise the rolling of the thunder), cuddle with my corgi, & revel in the beauty of nature once again.