I was going to make a cute little list of “what I should be doing” versus “what I am doing” or “what I’d rather be doing.” But I decided not to, because it’s not about “should.” “Should” implies that there is somebody else expecting something. “Should” stands for all those unreasonable expectations, most of which I truly have placed on myself. “Should” have a cleaner house, “should” get more schoolwork done, “should” do this or that.
The “shoulds” don’t line up with goals. Goals like having intelligent children who can read, figure, and think. Goals like having healthy children, in a non-bug-infested home. Goals like enjoying life and the precious moments. Those goals are being met the way things are, except maybe the last, which keeps getting shunted aside by the “shoulds.”
It’s not really “should.” It is more like, “I wish.” As in, “I wish my house were as neat as clean as my timeshare,” or “I wish we had gotten all our school assignments done this year,” or “I wish I had a million dollars.” Hey, where did that one come from? Well, why not? Sure, if I worked hard enough, I could probably get all of those. But would it be any fun? Would it be a life?
I wish all the things in the house were picked up, organized, put away neatly, with no junk left. Until my house fairy comes along, I’ll just keep living in a lived in house, trying to improve our habits a little each day without trying too hard. I have better things to do.
I wish I had little geniuses who were going to college at 13 and planning to be neurosurgeons. Not really. I’ll just keep enjoying the hours-long discussions we have about the singularity and quantum mechanics, about ethics and morality, about religion and politics, about books versus movies and following our dreams, which I know they all will do without pressure from me to be who they are not.
I wish I had an extra income stream so I could pay off our debts and hire a maid. Until my mysterious unknown rich uncle dies and I win the lottery, I’ll take days of enjoying my family and children and working to make their lives better on a budget, rather than miserable days spent in an environment I hate while hoping other people do for my children what I would do for them.
I wish I could magically snap my fingers and Kender would start talking to me and telling me what he is thinking and how he feels, and listening and understanding when I explain how a straw works, or what that noise over there is. But I’ll take watching him smile, tickling him, letting him play on the slide, celebrating every baby step, and trying to find new ways to interest and engage him, over spending 40 hours a week programming him like I would train a dog or set up a computer.