I have every reason to be incredibly grateful. I’m healthy and generally happy (no, really). I have a husband who treats me well, who cooks and cleans and fixes things, and who is (knock on wood) employed in such a manner that we have yet to go hungry. I have a job that not only assists in that goal of having readily available foodstuffs, but also allows me to work close to home, which is important to me. Together we have two little girls who, while trying at times, are also healthy and happy, which, when you boil it right down, is all you should really ask for in a child. We live near our extended families, in a house we want to keep forever, in the town we both love, in the greatest country on earth.
So what does a girl like me need with hope? Are you kidding? My whole life is built around hope. I didn’t start out with this life, although the one I did start out with was pretty great, too. But nothing was handed to me on a silver platter and my life has been my design. It’s a delicate house of cards we all live in and if one butterfly flaps one wing, everything we have and love could very well be lost.
We often whisper pipe dreams about what we’d do if we ever won the lottery – buy a cottage, renovate the house, pay off the mortgage, pay off everyone’s mortgage – but the thing about winning the lottery is that you actually have to play it. Those things we wish for are frivolous and irrelevant, but that’s what wishes are for. They’re for life’s improbabilities. Hope. Now hope is a necessity. Hope is what you use to build your life, how you mold what you’ve been given into your vision, how you plan for your future. You hope to one day be a part of a family of your own, you hope that family is built on a foundation of love and respect and joy, and you hope that you don’t screw up too much the lives of those you brought into this world. Or you hope for a different future altogether, but whatever path you steer your life, hope is a required partner.
I often wonder if I had my kids too close together. Two years and four months isn’t exactly what you’d call Irish Twins, but it’s close enough. Things began wonderfully – Eirinn was a doting big sister who was proud of her new baby. But she was also very aware that the time of her being an only child had screeched to an abrupt end. From the day Avery could grab, Eirinn’s toys became public domain, as did the attention of those who previously focused solely on her. There were days that our decision appeared good and others in which it was clearly ill-advised. My hope, before we had Avery, was that having them so close together in age would encourage them to grow into the best of friends. Now that they’re six and four, I can see the error in my ways. My hope may have come to fruition had they not both been Alpha Females. They’re at an age where they share the same interests, which can be good for hours of uninterrupted play (and hours of uninterrupted reading for mommy), but it can also lead to some ferocious territorial brawls and fist fights over possessions. More frequently, I am a referee breaking up fights and scolding name-callers and confiscating points of contention when I’d love to just be a nurturing mother. They’ve taken to screams of “I HATE YOU!” and “I’M NEVER PLAYING WITH YOU AGAIN!” and that just breaks my heart. And frustrates me to no end. I often wonder if we had had them further apart in age or if they had been of the opposite sex (not that we could have helped that) if they would get along better or more often.
But those days when they hole up in a bedroom playing dolls or dress up or are completely silent, those are the days that I’m filled with hope. Sure, they’re destroying their rooms because, come clean up time, both sets of arms mysteriously turn into limp noodles, and sure parents should ALWAYS UNDER EVERY SINGLE CIRCUMSTANCE EVER be afraid of silence when children are together, but I’m still hopeful. If there are glimpses of friendship, even the tiniest glimmer of mutual tolerance, then there’s hope for these two after all.
Hope doesn’t require a tragic circumstance or impending failure to thrive. Hope is in the everyday. I hope for my kids, that one day they’ll wake up and instead of competing with each other, they’ll realize that I merely provided them with a built-in, life-long best friend. I hope for myself, that one day my life will not just be filled with the laughter and contentment that I have now, but also free from the interruption of battle cries and squeals of rage. I hope for our family, that the love we have now will grow and never falter.
Hope is in the grand and in the abstract and in the eyes of a sick child, but more often it’s also simply what gets us through.
As with any relay, I must pass the baton. Jerrod from Never Had One Lesson passed it to me, and he got it straight from Melanie Crutchfield, who thought of this whole thing, and here I am, passing it to you.
Here! Catch! (I clearly don’t know how relays work, despite running them for years)
Chibi from Chibi Jeebs & The Neurotic Struggle
Robyn from Hollow Tree Adventures
Carrie from Written Ramblings
Joshua from Vive Le Nerd
Jim from Just A Lil Blog
The only rule with this is that you write about Hope. Anything your little hearts desire, as long as it has to do with, or is inspired by the word, Hope. Then pass the baton to more writers. That’s it.