22. Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years? 15 years?
There was a time when I thought far into the future and tried to map out a clear path from Point A to infinity, but at some point along the journey, I realized I couldn’t control every step or even steer myself in the direction I thought I wanted to go most of the time.
I have plans. Of course I do. I just try not to commit them to a certain timeline. While you’re so busy making plans, Life scoots right past you, and you often miss your chance to enjoy the here and now while you’re staring ahead to the ifs and thens.
However, there are a few things I see ahead that are fairly certain.
In five years, Sarah will be 11, Aubrey will be nearly nine, and Zoey will be five. Sarah will be getting ready to start middle school and will most likely be worried about changing schools for the first time since she started kindergarten. How odd to think that, as I write this, she just finished kindergarten, and I’m already talking about five years from now when she will be in middle school.
(I don’t like it. At all. My babies are growing up too quickly.)
Aubrey will be getting ready to take Sarah’s place as the big sister looking over the little sister at school, and I have no doubt she will do a great job. My Aubrey will be headed into the fourth grade, which is impossible to imagine since she is only now about to enter PreK.
Zoey will be getting ready to start kindergarten. My last baby will be starting school, cheering (assuming she follows in her sisters’ footsteps), meeting new people and learning things like math, reading and writing.
Hopefully, five years from now, your Daddy will have finally gotten his first motorcycle and found a place at the house to work on his art. Amidst all the estrogen-fueled rifts and girly giggles, he will already be watching for hormone-crazed boys who think they are old enough to call his daughters and will be caught in the middle of sibling rivalries and tween attitudes.
And in all this chaos of changes and keeping up with you girls and your Daddy, I will be doing many of the same things I am doing now – taking care of my little brood and loving every minute of it.
In 10 years, I will undoubtedly be feeling a little crazier than I do now. I will be 48 and digging my heels in as I try to reverse the engines and keep from peeking around the corner at 50. Yes, I know it’s better to embrace your age and have fun with it, but I am going to go kicking and screaming into 50 with every bit of fight I have.
Sarah will be 16 and driving. I don’t even want to talk about that.
Aubrey will be nearly 14 and no doubt begging Sarah to drive her places.
Zoey will be 10 and still in elementary school, and I can’t wait to see what kind of person she is.
In 15 years, I will be in my 50s, and, hopefully, I will know what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe I will be fortunate enough to make a living writing by then and have been blessed to see something I wrote published. Maybe I’ll have more time to go to the gym, visit with friends and be lazy with your Daddy.
Let’s face it – probably not.
Sarah will be 21 and, presumably, in college. Aubrey should be finishing her first year of college, and Zoey will be in high school. I’m sure there will be plenty to keep me busy, and while my friends are enjoying their grandkids, I will still be chasing my own children from one thing to the next to some degree.
Sometimes I look ahead to the next five, 10 and 15 years and wonder how different those years would look if you girls had come along sooner. Do you know what I realize when I picture that? I wouldn’t change a thing if I had the chance. Everything in my Life happened exactly how it was meant to be at exactly the time it was meant to happen. Looking ahead all those years forces me to also look back five, 10 and 15 years, too, and those years were exactly as they were meant to be as well.
They weren’t perfect. They weren’t even always that great. There were certainly some bumpy roads, but all those self-inflicted potholes in the path from there to here are just part of the bigger picture of the map of our Life today. It all falls into the “it is what it is” category, and that’s exactly how I see the future – it is going to be what it is going to be.
My job isn’t to map it all out and choreograph every move. It’s just to do the best I can at guiding the ship along the way.