Needed to vacuum at 7:30am before becoming a mother.
Wanted band seasons to end so badly.
Been so excited that Hope wants to go *away* to band camp next summer—several band camps actually.
Thought I would restrict Hope’s primary cereal choices to Kellogg’s Special K with Red Berries or Raisin Brand Crunch.
Thought I’d make Yoda so proud with Jedi mind tricks, by my mind game is #strong.
Needed a grown up vacation so bad.
Wanted or needed to figure out how to cultivate new friendships with a bunch of cliquish band parents.
Thought finding Flavor-Ice plastics all over the house would annoy me so very much.
Thought I would deal with hoarding.
Thought I’d sleep with a dog under the covers again after The Furry One, but then there was #Yappy.
See diversity issues through new eyes as an adoptive parent.
Faced the idea of having a primary focus on social development rather than academic performance.
Read so many journal articles on parenting children of trauma.
Thought I’d be so dang tired.
Contemplated the convergence of my many identities—Black, woman, sliding in to middle age, educated, single mom, adoptive parent, professional.
Missed so many deadlines.
Gone this long without reading a book for pleasure.
Drank so much wine.
Spent so much time looking for good wines with screw tops because I simply can’t be bothered with finding the corkscrew.
Been told my blood pressure is elevating.
Bought *this size* clothing.
Worked so hard outside of work.
Tried so hard to find time for self-care.
Been so frustrated that I can come home from a day and a half business trip to find a sink full of dirty dishes spilling on to the counters and stove, a dog with a less than clean bottom, the new bottle of juice empty, a strange pile of tooth picks on the coffee table, dog chewed glue sticks on the floor, Chinese takeout condiment packets all over the kitchen, dining room and coffee table and a dog who seemed extraordinarily happy that I was home just before midnight.
Actually paid a nanny—one of our best nannies—for the previously described welcome home without being really pissed.
Thought I’d take my teenage daughter’s narcissism so personally.
Thought I’d have the wonderful relationship with my boo, Elihu, that I do as a single parent.
Believed that I had the capacity to grind out this life like I do.
Believed that I could love like I do.
Believed that I could be as angry as I get sometimes.
Believed that my life could be full of so many decisions where there were no apparent upsides, just rocks and hard places.
Learned so much about invisible disabilities.
Had so many epiphanies about life.
Realized just how privileged I was growing up.
Realized just how much I took for granted before adopting Hope.
Had to sneak away to buy things for myself.
Had to carefully curate my online persona like I do now.
Been so frustrated about racism and sexism as I am now that I have a daughter—I was always frustrated but on a scale of 1-10, I’m now on 50.
Been so annoyed by how teen magazines spend so much time coaching girls about how to get a boyfriend/love interest.
Spent so much time trying to figure out how blended/complicated family structures can thrive.
Wanted so much out of life for someone else the way that I do for Hope.
Spent so much time thinking about what the second half of my life will look like.
Spent so much time thinking about how Hope will shape what the second half of my life will be like-who will she evolve into? What will she choose to do academically? Professionally? Where will she live? Will I be a grandmother? Will I ever breakdown and start shopping at Chico’s because I associate it with grandmotherhood?
Considered thinking about the need to move from my beloved condo like I do now.
Daydreamed about what living in a larger space with a yard would be like before now.
Spent so much time thinking about my personal politics and how adoption from foster care and motherhood have shaped them.
Spent so much time thinking about my own religious beliefs and needs before feeling rejected by my former church.
Felt *this* frustrated trying to figure out what kind of house of worship will be the best fit for me and Hope.
Questioned organized religion as much as I do now after being told that Hope and I don’t fit the “motif” of a cute family seeking a public dedication to the Holy Homeboy.
Never have I ever felt like my body betrayed me like I did when I realized I would never birth a biological child.
Confessed just how deeply that revelation hurt me because there are simply no words that can describe it.
Believed that life was fair.
Believed that we all get the same, equitable shot at the life we really desire—some of us have to work doubly, infinitely harder to get there.
Believed that a good fight wasn’t worth it.
Envisioned that this would be the life that I would have.
Been disappointed with it in total—there are some episodes I would change, but it’s all pretty good when viewed holistically, I guess.
Not been thankful for what I have, what I pursue, what I have achieved.
Not acknowledged the folks who have pushed me along, even if their pushes have been painful or served motivation to simply prove them wrong.
Not been grateful for my haters. #theyseemerolling #theyhatin’
Not been without flaws.
Not done my absolute best, sometimes to my own detriment.
Not been brutally real.
Not been authentic.
Not been just me.
Your turn…sound off.