The other day I sat on the bed with my new vision board in front of me. I was trying to figure out where to best put some captions I had cut out from a magazine. I didn’t have a stash of pictures at my disposal so finding a neutral spot was proving to be a challenge. I had not found a picture of my dream house. I could not find a picture of the right dog. I didn’t even have pictures of my sons.
Then it occurred to me that perhaps my sons did not necessarily have to be a part of my whole vision board configuration because they had lives of their own. A couple of years ago I had to swallow the fact that my dreams for my firstborn were not the dreams he had for himself and that it was time to let him try his wings. My second son will soon be going off to college and that’s another set of wings about to take off.
Before I could submit to the melancholy that mothers slip into when pondering the emptying of the nest, another thought took over that knocked off all other thoughts that were beginning to crowd in my head: I can actually now go back to that point in my life’s journey where I had to shelve part of who I was to become a mom.
The whole idea of it rendered me immobile. I sat there, looking at the vision board, scissors in one hand, a cutout of the words IN PERFECT HARMONY in the other. Is it possible to go back? More importantly, did I want to go back?
In retrospect, there are bits and pieces of my life that I can admit to not wanting to do over again. Age has a way of opening one’s eyes to one’s stupidity. Although I have confessed to being peripatetic, my husband and my sons have made it possible for me to be grounded and to find some happiness in staying put. Ultimate joy and contentment had been mine countless of times: eating cheap, fun cheeseburgers with my husband in our almost-built first home, feeling my first baby moving around in me and later watching him sleep in my arms, my second baby humming himself to sleep. Too many and too precious to just rattle off in one paragraph. But in between those moments, I would hear a call or at least sense some kind of beckoning: a whispered reminder that somewhere, the person who I was, the dreamer, the wanderer, that brave soul who would not hesitate to try on some other religion for size or open doors to other lives not worrying that exits may be nonexistent, was waiting for her turn to once more be.
(This will have a continuation as chewing on my happy food doesn’t seem to allow for any profound introspection. I will have to content myself with an illustration I did for a Friday illustration group I joined to discipline me into making sure I do illustrations at least once a week. The illustration theme was “SPENT.”)