It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like This

She dusted the potting soil off of the rim of the clay pot. “Mom, I potted the Hoya clipping. They’re supposed to be in a north-facing window. Where should I put it?”

“Well, we have two options.  Let’s see if we can make room for it.”

“Did you have more plants at dad’s house?”

“Yeah, we had lots of houseplants at dad’s house.”

“How come?”

I clear some books off an end-table to make room for the Hoya.  “Well, it was a bigger house with lots of windows.  The light was good for plants.”

She sets the pot down, turning it so the leaves can soak up what they need, “I think the windows in this house are perfect.”

I think of how it wasn’t supposed to be like this – just the three of us in this little house.  “I like the windows here, too.”


“Were you always gonna stay in the town you grew up in?”

“Well, I hadn’t planned on it.  I was gonna go somewhere else.  I can’t remember where, but I wasn’t planning to stay here.”

“So how come you are still here?”

I remember how it wasn’t going to be like this.  I remember having my own plans. “Things just worked out this way.  I’m glad to be here, are you?”

“Yeah, mom, I love it here.  My BFF lives here.”


“Can we read two chapters before we start on our lists today?  Pleeaaassse?”

“Yeah, mom, can we?  I wanna hear how they get away from the scorpions.”

“If you were in public school, you wouldn’t have that option, you know.  Maybe we should read three chapters this morning.”

“Yay!!!  Can we?”

“Mom, are you still glad we are homeschooling?”

I think of how I was never going to homeschool my kids.  I planned for my kids to go to public school, like I did.   “I can’t even imagine doing school any other way.”

“I know, right?”


“Do you think you’ll ever get married again?”

I laugh and take a sip of coffee and wonder where this is going.  “Why do you ask?”

“Well, it’s okay if you do, but I think it’s really good here with just the three of us – well and Nina, of course.”

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I was supposed to be married while raising kids.  I was supposed to be cooking Chicken and Broccoli Fettuccine for four.  I was supposed to have help with the yard and fight for the remote.  I wasn’t supposed to do all the driving on road trips or clean the gutters without him holding the ladder.

“Well, I don’t want to say never, but we sure have a good thing going just like this!  Why would I wanna mess this up?”


Better Than It Was Supposed To Be


We grow up with plans, hopes and dreams.  How many of us get exactly what we planned for?

How many of us are breathing a sigh of relief that we didn’t get what we planned for?

How many are agonizing that things haven’t turned out the way they were “supposed” to?

How many of us continue to trip over how it was supposed to be like so many wrinkles in a badly stretched carpet?  Every day we walk over that carpet and trip over the same creases.  We keep saying, “But it wasn’t supposed to be like this.  It was supposed to be different.  I was supposed to be happily married in a fine house with a lovely garden.  There were supposed to be four of us sitting down to dinner every night.  I was supposed to fight for the covers and complain about his snoring.”

And we trip.

And we fail to see that what is might be better than what was supposed to be.

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  1. Living outside of society’s expectations, what we initially thought our lives to be, can be so fulfilling. I went to the beach for a bachelorette party this past weekend.

    As the craziness ensued, I was a little torn. I was having a great time and as the oldest and only divorced one of the bunch, I reflected on stages in my life as they talked about theirs. I could almost see myself then. It wasn’t bad. I wasn’t sad, but their expectations and place in life is my past. They tried to put me where they are. I received a lot of curiosity about my current situation. “What about your man?” “Don’t you want to get married again?” “You could have another baby.” I didn’t want to rain on the beautiful beginning of another couple so I kept it short (I was also hung over so talking was not on the top of my list…lol).

    The captain of our booze cruise (divorced 48 year old of 2 kids and very free spirited) said it best when they grilled him about his life and getting re-married. He said, “We can’t get married, but we could live in sin for a while!” We are on the same earth plane.

    At one point, I reminded them I was single. “You could hook up with the captain.” Uh no. I am beyond hook ups, imaginary long distance relationships, and perhaps, drinking all weekend long.

    I was content going to bed early at 1am, loathing the club scene, and thought myself to be very lucky doing my thing when I want, how I want, and with whom I want. It was a great weekend.

  2. Z,

    I laughed at the part about being too hungover to talk. That next day gets harder as I get older. Ew….

    My take away from your comment (thanks for giving us a glimpse into this wonderful stage of your life) is that it’s so damn good to appreciate yourself and where you are and not make those comparisons. Comparisons to your own hopes and expectations or comparisons to lives of other folks we know and admire. It sounds like it should be so easy – to bloom where we are planted. It takes time and grace and acceptance. But when we get there – oh, is it ever sweet.

  3. Exactly! I typically talk a lot about it for a couple of reasons. One, I do not want people to think I am missing something in my life. I certainly am not. It is so full I can’t breathe sometimes. Lol. I also want them to know that it is ok to live for your own happiness and that life is sweet no matter what happens.

    And yes, the day after gets so much harder! A reminder to be kind to yourself. :D

  4. Z,

    And that’s the beauty of getting older. It’s like we learn a few more secrets with the passing of each year. Secrets like – life gets richer, friendships grow deeper, your own path is your own path and there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with your own path.

    Oh, and hang overs get harder and the cost isn’t worth it.

  5. Older and wiser is not a myth (as I once thought).
    Or something we say as parents to have our way (perhaps I have done).

    It’s a sweet place to be.

    But I think we have to fight our way through to appreciate it and how far we have come.

  6. Z,

    Yes! And once we get some of that wisdom, it doesn’t do us any good to keep it all to ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom here, Zaira. ;)

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