I was thinking today as I drove my daughter to school about how different my life has turned out compared to what I thought it would be when I was her age…

When I was 13, I thought my life at almost-43 would be filled with dance classes, soccer games and dress rehearsals of my four children who were super busy and involved in every possible sport and activity. Instead, I have been blessed with one beautiful daughter who is content curling up on the couch reading a book or folding origami. I’ve been blessed with one child who has an incredibly brilliant mathematically, scientifically logical brain who knows exactly what she wants – to be a veterinarian – and really has no desire to dabble in dance classes and the like. Instead, I have been blessed with one young lady who delights in solitary walks, riding her bike and is able to content herself  with simple things… she has always been this way… as a baby preferring balls of tin foil and cardboard boxes over her brightly colored toys.

When I was 13, I figured that, by this age, I would be comfortably settled into my own home with a white picket fence, pets and the ability to be a stay-at-home mom, artist and writer while my delicious husband filled his days with a career he is passionate about that brings him joy. Instead, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a single mother for most of my daughter’s life. I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend most of her life in my father’s home. I have been blessed with experiencing the fullness of my daughter’s life without the distractions of anyone else. I have been able to see the full progression of her life and be witness to her brilliance. I have been blessed with shelter and food. I have been blessed with a place to sleep where we are safe. I have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know my father and step-mom from an adult viewpoint and absent of anyone else’s interjections.

At 13, I imagined my life would be so different than the life I am living now. I could have never imagined for myself the things that I HAVE experienced because there was no frame of reference for these experiences. There are many aspects of my 13 year old imagined adult life that are absent from the reality of my adult life. However, there are many aspects of my life – the parts that I couldn’t imagine back then – that have created a glorious life. While I couldn’t have imagined this life for myself almost 30 years ago, I am grateful that it is my life.

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