Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forget California Dreaming...

...We're Hawaii bound! For the first time in YEARS, I'm taking my kids on a family vacation.  What is super cool (but a little intimidating) is that I've never had the opportunity to make all the decisions before - where to go, where to stay, how much to spend.  Pushing that "purchase" button last week had me sweating a bit (what happens if I get hit by a bus before we leave? Should I have bought insurance, etc. etc.)

But I bit the bullet and booked it.  I've found that having something to look forward to helps me get through the tough days and Lord knows I need a break from the daily working grind! Plus, there's a side affect to the vacation planning that I'm really happy to see: my kids are seeing this as an investment in *them*.  Most of my previous vacations were solo: this time it's US.  Before I get all misty-eyed, I do realize they will probably drive me nuts before, during and after this vacation - -  but that's okay.  We've needed a National Lampoon's Vacation and laughs for a while, and now we're getting one :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Zoom Lens

When I was seventeen, my dream was to be a photojournalist in New York City.  I had my whole life planned out: the fact that I would never get married, but that I would have one child in my late thirties (a boy, with a cool name like Max or something else with an "x" or "z" in the name) and that I would always, always follow my dreams.

A mere two years later, I was married with my first child on the way.  What the hell happened? Oh sure, everyone my age was either getting married or surviving the first year of college, but how did I deviate so drastically from THE PLAN? I had started off well - I was enrolled in a P-J degree program at the state university, and was meeting new people, finding my way in what I thought was the adult world. 

Twenty years later it's easy to look back in hindsight and point out where I made choices that impacted my life and changed the Plan.  It's harder to face the "why" I made those choices, because it requires admitting that I really was just a dumb kid without a clue in the world.

I ended up with three kids - not one.  And there are no "x" or "z" in their names.  I never got snap pictures of a major news event, but I have a lot of experience taking football pictures at Pop Warner games.  While I sometimes regret parts of the path I took, I recognize that all those steps bring me to where I am today.  Scars and all - they are what make me... ME.

So now, as my oldest child heads out into the real world, I pray that I did a decent enough job as a mother, and later as a single-parent.  If there's one thing I wish I could give my children, it's the ability to continue to follow their dreams, even as life unfolds around them.