Jane Austen wrote, in Pride and Prejudice, “we don’t suffer by accident.” We aren’t in control… and as in control of your life as you may feel sometimes, the exact opposite may be true…
As little girls (and I’m sure little boys too), we imagine what our lives will look like when we are all grown up.
This is what I dreamed my life to be:
When I grew up, I was going to be a Grade 1 teacher in a small country school. There would be another Grade 1 class across the hall, and the teacher of that class would be an extremely handsome and charming man. We would fall in love, get married and have 3 children, two precious daughters and one strapping son. We would raise them in the same small town, surrounded by our families. They would grow up with their cousins as their best friends, and would go to school with the same people from kindergarten through to graduation.
Boy was I in for some surprises.
Here are a few things I clearly wasn’t expecting:
– that I would fall in love in high school, with the extremely handsome and somewhat charming man who would become my husband.
– we would start our family while I was still in university.
– that I would choose the absolute worst time to become a teacher in Ontario.
– we would move our family, not only to a new city, but to a completely different province, in pursuit of my career as a teacher, away from both of our families.
– we would complete our perfect family, not with another little girl to love, but with two adorable twin boys, giving us a daughter and three sons.
– we would deliver our twins at 29 weeks, entering into the strange worlds of multiples and premature babies simultaneously.
– that I would delay my career at the first opportunity to stay home with my children.
I’m not saying that all of these things happened by chance, or are even a part of a bigger picture I have no control over. There was a lot of decision-making happening on my part.
What I am saying, is that the bigger picture unfolds while you’re busy paying attention to something else.
The serendipity lies in the in between, in the stuff that happens while you’re making plans for the things you think you want, or trying to get through those awful times when things are nowhere close to going according to that plan.
My life is completely different than the one I thought I wanted as a little girl.
Now, I wouldn’t, couldn’t want my life to be any other way.
…Well, maybe if we could hire someone to cook, clean, and take over for me when someone’s having a tantrum? Too much to ask?
Here’s a glimpse into my heart and a few of the reasons why I choose to focus on the serendipitous-side of having four children:
I don’t know how long I get to keep them, but I know it will never be long enough…