As far back as I can remember (and on a good day that's at least as far back as the third grade), I had always had my *adult* life mapped out. I knew the type of man I'd marry. The number of kids I'd have. The pets I'd have. The house I'd live in. The car I drove. Exactly how far away from my family I would live. I'm pretty sure at some point I even knew what color I would dye my hair. And how often. :)
The man I was going to marry would naturally have to be taller than I. Although that technically isn't that difficult to do, as I'm somewhat short, I had a specific height in mind. I didn't want to have to stand on my toes to hug him around his neck. He would be clean shaven. I was having none of that scruffy look.
He would like the same music I did. He would be well-read, and would continue to enjoy reading. He would like to dance, and he'd enjoy the mountains. He'd love spring and fall, and would know how to appreciate the beauty to be found in nature. And he'd be able to sing to me with a voice that would put the most accomplished performer to shame.
He would never be selfish, putting my needs and wants above all else.
I was going to have six kids; four of them boys. It was supposed to go: son, son, daughter, son, son, daughter. I really wanted each of my daughters to have big brothers. I missed out on that, and really think I would have enjoyed the experience. They were going to be evenly spaced about 3 years apart. They were going to be each other's best friend.
I was going to have one dog and one cat. They'd both be housebroken, and would sleep on my bed each night.
My house would be large, but not too big to take care of. My boys would share rooms, but my girls would get their own. We'd have a beautiful, huge back yard; covered in the softest grass with the most majestic cottonwood trees and weeping willows.
I was absolutely positive that I would drive nothing else but a Chevy Blazer. (Don't ask why... just go with it.)
And I would always live within 15 minutes of my family. Always.
In short.... I was dreaming. Quite possibly hallucinating, having overdone it on hairspray fumes (it WAS the 80's..... remember that hair??). What can you expect from a young girl?
What I GOT was a husband that is nothing like I imagined. He is definitely taller than I wanted. I always have to stand on my toes to hug and kiss him. He's got the scruffy beard/mustache thing going on (which is actually a good thing, as he looks about 12 when he's clean shaven). We really don't like the same kinds of music. He won't read anything outside of the sports pages. He hates to dance, and prefers the desert to the mountains. He LOVES summer, and nature only gets in his way. He can't really sing, and often would prefer not to even try.
Only two kids, and not a daughter among them. Two dogs, because the aforementioned husband doesn't like cats; and neither of them (the dogs, not the husband. He can sit on the sofa!) are allowed on the furniture because we don't want to be covered in any hair other than our own. My house is what is nicely termed *cozy*, and my backyard is smaller than my first apartment. And its all rock. No grass. No cottonwoods or weeping willows. Not even a green weed. I do not now, nor have I ever (and don't anticipate it in the future, either, actually) owned a Chevy Blazer.
And I live 17 hours away from my parents, and even further from my youngest brother!
But I'll let you in on a secret. That's not all I got out of the deal.
I got a husband who lets me sleep in on the weekends, even though he'd rather I got up and made french toast for breakfast. He sends me silly text messages throughout the day most days, just to tell me he loves me. On the rare occasions that I actually say I want something, he does everything in his power to get it for me. Plus, he sits through Bill and Ted.
I got two incredibly loving sons, who do not miss an opportunity to give me hugs, even if its in front of their friends. Boys who like going to the grocery store with me, because it means they get to spend some time with me. A teenager who still tells me he loves me before he ends a phone call, even when he's at school. A fourth grader who loves spending time with me, sitting next to me on the couch reading our favorite books.
Two rescued dogs with beautiful eyes that show me beautiful souls; who follow me around everywhere like I'm a goddess.
A house I can afford that is big enough to give each of my unique sons their own individual rooms. Plenty of cubby space to hold all the books my heart desires. A back patio big enough for some chairs to sit in on those beautiful desert nights and look at the stars. Which we can actually see from where we live, and we couldn't when we lived closer to my family.
And while I miss my family terribly, I have been blessed with in-laws that took me in, fell in love with me, and treat me as their own.
So yeah. My life did not follow the path that I had innocently laid out for it to follow all those years ago. But really.... I think I got the better end of the deal.