I was looking at one of my old scrap books from college. And I was just so YOUNG. With such large hair.
3 1/2 year old Dylan pointed to a picture of me from sophomore year.
Dylan: Who’s that?
Me: That’s me.
Dylan: But you don’t look like a mommy. (I guess mommy’s don’t have power bangs). Where am I?
Me: You weren’t born yet.
Dylan: I was a baby?
Me: No. Not a baby. Not even a little sparkle. (How could I have ever imagined such a creative, beautiful, frustrating, sweet spirit with golden curls was headed my way?)
I wish I could go back there. To those moments in the pictures. I want to laugh with my college friends. I want to have a crush on some guy in economics class and then find out he likes me too.
I want to be more gentle with other people’s hearts. I want to make some of the same choices and some different ones too.
My life is soooooooo completely different now.
Take the Academy Awards. I am a sucker for these shows. I get all caught up like somebody is going to give me a gold naked statuette to honor all my hard labor. I’ve twice been nominated for best multiple loads of laundry in one single night, but always lose out to this chick Meryl somebody.
So I’m trying to watch the preshow red carpet gabfest. I like to survey the gowns and cringe at the awkward interviews.
Poor Felicity (well, that’s what I still call her) was asked why kids should study math (a taped question from a young viewer). Keri Russell simply mustered up a, “It’s important for kids to go to school.” Yeah, right. Unless you can make millions as a celeb. Then who needs math? Just hire a money manager.
But my runway show was temporarily interrupted for a viewing of, “Elmo’s World.”
Turns out Elmo, like many of the stars, was also wearing red. He looked good, although I would have loved to have seen his matted hair in a sleek ponytail.
Once the kiddos were tucked in and re-tucked, I could really focus on Oscar and his 80 years. But it’s hard to root for your fave flick when you really haven’t seen any of them. Plus, with no friends over, the Oscar pool was a bit on the paltry side. Rick always wins the pot anyway so I just handed him 10 bucks.
But earlier that evening, Rick and I took our kids to Tortilla Flats, a Mexican restaurant down the block. Every weekend, this place is bachelor party central, but at 6 pm on a Sunday night, it’s pretty mellow.
The girls were incredibly content, groovin’ to the music and eating copious amounts of tortilla chips. Rick and I were talking and laughing and connecting.
This moment. This is what I always wanted. All along.
As a 19 year-old college student, I dreamed that someday, I would meet this guy, who just somehow was right for me. We would have a family and we would be happy. Not all the time. But a good chunk of the time.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever get to this place. But I hoped. I dreamed.
So as I sat there at this Mexican restaurant eating my enchiladas verde, I realized that it had indeed all come true. This is happy, I thought. This is definitely happy.
So why do I want to go back and be that 19 year-old again? I guess because there was so much ahead of me. Of course, there still is. I only have to witness my 65 year-old mother, who is going back to school this summer to earn a Master’s in Social Work, to remember that.
But in my life, choices have definitely been made. Roads have been taken. And although I wouldn’t give up my current life for anything, there are moments sometimes when I long to be at the beginning of the story.
mama bird notes
Contributing mama Daphne Biener has electrifying chills for a certain musical. Hmm… I wonder which one. Click on contributing mamas to read more.
And a mama needs your help with some sibling rivalry. Click on askamama and share your brilliance.