Last weekend I hosted a get-together with friends I knew in high school. Between just the few friends, we had 17 children. They were 17 happy children that evening, running and playing and climbing everything in our backyard. Folks lingered well past bedtimes because they were all so happy playing. One of my friends told me, "I feel like you're giving your children the kind of childhood we had, but doesn't exist anymore." I responded with my belief that children need space - space to be wild, space for imagination, space for independence, space to be kids. As I was reflecting on the conversation afterward, I realized so much of what I described to her was exactly what I need for myself, but haven't had in a long time.
Its been years since I feel like chance and possibility exist in my life. More precisely, that chance and possibility are benevolent forces. Ever since Eloise was born, I've felt like I've had to sacrifice my own potential, because I feel trapped. I feel trapped by my child's debilitating handicap. Its not an invented feeling either, because I literally am trapped by it. Eloise determines everything about how I live, from when and what we eat, daily activities and even my nights. Her blue spells are unpredictable enough to keep any outings in public to a minimum. Someday ask me about a recent failed trip to Joann's which involved Eloise having a complete laryngospasm. I can't drive very far, because of Eloise. And traveling with a feeding bag and G-Tube? Let me tell you, its limiting.
I don't suffer from a lack of imagination or gumption, all of these limitations are real. I often get the euphemism, "They grow quickly and this is just a chapter in your life." Yes, I know. However, it has been years already, and I have so many years to go. Imagining a future where I feel free seems so incredibly far away that it belongs in the realm of my daydreams, and its painful to have such a prolonged hope.
I feel like I can see how my life will unfold, and I'm not excited to live it. I feel like I'm only here for my kids, to be their great mom. I am craving some adventure and spontaneity, some fun. I miss the freedom and possibility I had as a child, teenager, and young adult. I never wonder what tomorrow will bring, because I can tell you what it will bring, and if anything unpredictable happens, its usually in the way of CPR or an ER trip.
Okay, I know this is a downer post. But it is what I'm living, and I don't feel like pretending to optimism I don't have today.