As a baseball fan, I'd always dreamed that if I had a boy, he would play ball. I had visions of being a Little League mom. I imagined a minivan full of baseball gear. I even entertained, once or twice, the fantasy of my son being a professional baseball player.
As it turns out, my son, D, is not a baseball player. He hated playing T-ball last year (and really, who can blame him? He was 5 years old and bored to tears standing in the outfield or sitting on the bench). He never took to soccer. He did seem to enjoy basketball somewhat, which he played this past winter, but didn't LOVE it. He just isn't into sports. He does like to run, and I will encourage that. Who knows, maybe as he gets older he will be on the track or cross-country team.
What he DOES love to do is read, build things, do science experiments, watch TV, and play Wii. A far cry from the sports-loving baseball fanatic boy of my dreams. We get to read together, go to plays, and play games.
I had always imagined that, if I had a girl, she would spend her days playing house, dressing up in tutus, and excelling at ballet. I pictured a closet full of pink dresses. I envisioned watching all of the Disney Princess movies again and again.
In reality, my daughter, A, never plays house. She plays with her kitchen set, and I hear her pretending to talk to her friends from school, but it's not as elaborate a make-believe scene as playing house. She does not like wearing dresses, and needs to be bribed to wear one. She is in ballet and tap, but her balance and coordination keep her from being the graceful ballerina I had pictured (trust me, I'm ok with that. The fact that she is in dance class to begin with satisfies all of my expectations). And watching ANY movie is futile; she prefers shorter TV shows.
When I got married 10 years ago, I imagined growing old with my husband, J. I assumed that we would have a healthy life together, that if God-forbid we should experience any health crisis it wouldn't be until we were well into old-age.
Instead, I have a husband with Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease. He was diagnosed about 5-6 years ago, when he was in his early 30's. Having YOPD in the family wasn't even on our radar of things to worry about when we got married.
You get what you get, and you don't get upset. Right?
The thing is, I have learned to roll with the punches. Some of my expectations were silly (not all boys love sports; not all girls love dresses) and some were appropriate (who expects their young spouse to get diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder that typically afflicts people in their 70s?). Regardless, even though I have had my share of heartache during the past 5 years (a daughter with a million medical issues and developmental delays, a husband with YOPD) I am happy with the family I have. I love my husband, son and daughter more than anything in the world. They are who they are.....and they are not the people I had long ago dreamed about.
They are better.