Posted by MissyHall | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 17-04-2012
Tags: expectations, Missy Hall, what if, wonder, worry
While we wait…we will wonder…or worry…or whatever. (don’t you just love alliteration?)
I woke up to a surprise when I attempted to take a nap last Saturday. I skipped out of my boy’s baseball game because I desperately
wanted needed a nap. I told my sweet girl that she could pick a long movie (as apposed to a 22 minute Peppa Pig) and that she could only wake me up in a true emergency (“No, announcing to me that you have to use the potty is not an emergency, just do it, ok?”)
Well, the boys left, and I snuggled in and fell fast asleep. But, our dog, Sproutie, moved to the front couch, where she can watch out our window and therefore about 45 minutes later she starts barking up a storm. I awaken enough to realize that I do not hear Ariel singing her tunes and wonder why the movie is already off. (Luckily) I chose to get up and check on my little stinky pot pie who had lined up all our bleach filled cleaning supplies on our back couch and was using all sorts of different sprays on different parts of the house. Naturally, I launch into a huge lecture about how she knows not to touch these and now is no longer allowed to be left alone for a quiet time except for inside her bedroom (where no bleach is stored there, obviously.) She is crying and I am wallowing in a good dose of Mom Guilt for having completely crashed out instead of my half-awake nap I generally take with one ear “open” to catch even the faint sound of windex on my dishes.
I stop to listen to my child who is crying and hear: “I only wanted to be like the Berenstain Bears!” Huh? “They surprised their mommy by cleaning up.” Hmmm.
Now, I grew up loving the Berenstain Bears (my first real “series”…followed by others like Anne of Green Gables and Narnia ) and since having kids I have loved sharing these treasures with my own Brother and Sister Bear. Last summer we joined two library clubs and read twice the books and raked in twice the prizes and I have good authority to report that the mother load of BB books is at the Burlingame library. But, I did not suspect that my little girl would choose my precious nap time to re-enact the story in our home.
So, expectations got the best of us both. She expected that I’d be thankful and pleasantly surprised. I expected that she would be all snuggled up enjoying the big privilege of watching a whole movie. And, If I am honest, expectations always get the best of me: in my marriage, in my parenting, with my extended family, with my friends. I constantly am having to check to make sure that I am not expecting something of someone else that is unfair. My hunnie says: “I never “should” on anyone!” Yet, that is exactly the way my thoughts go…I should do this….You should do this…they should do that.
Becoming a mom for the first time 8 years ago felt a
little lot like this quote to me:
“What did you expect, a walk in the park?
not a carefree stroll, but this is like being mugged in the park!” (We need to talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver, p92)
This was such an interesting book …crazy theme and characters, but so well written and so many good quotes to get you thinking. Here’s another one that hit home for me the idea of expectations:
“I wanted what i could ot imagine. i wanted to be transformed; I wanted to be transported. i wanted a door to open and a whole new vista to expand before me that I had never known was out there…expectations are dangerous when they are both high and unformed.” (p92)
Now, as we prepare for our adoption phone call, I find myself with expectations and too many “shoulds” along with some positive wonderings and some negative whatifs. Similar to when I was pregnant, I wondered…
I wonder what my child will look like?
I wonder what his/her temperament will be?
I wonder if he will be a busy sports- loving boy?
Or, I wonder if she will be a prissy, purse carrying princess?
I think these “wonderings” are normal and fine as long as they don’t become expectations that will leave me (and everyone around me) frustrated if (when) things turn out different.
A small step away from wondering, are the “whatifs”…I will differentiate between the two: “wondering” is a more hopeful openness to whatever will be, whereas, “whatifs” center around a worry or fear of the unknown.
What if future child is not responsive to us, and has a hard time bonding?
What if my kids lives are turned upside down by a court process, or an emotional season that ends with us having to return future child to his/her birh parent after a period of time?
What if I say the wrong thing?
What if I never sleep again?
What I am trying to do is work on that subtle shift away from worry and back to hopeful. What I am also trying to do is recognize those enemy expectations and set them aside. What I am really want to do is just experience all today has to offer, with a thankful heart, and deal with tomorrow and the realities that just ARE when I am there.