Yesterday I became the mother of a fifteen year old. Yes, I did see this coming. And I have been ruminating on the idea for a while now. In the US, where I live, this means I am one year away from dealing with a child who drives. This is not what I want to even consider, especially considering that this same child still sucks her thumb, forgets to walk the dog, and leaves a trail of crumbs everywhere she goes.
It’s not like I didn’t see this coming. Ever since she uttered that first evil cry in the delivery room, I knew this little one was someone to be reckoned with. But now every sentence is a demand, and I am the one at fault. I am the failure. The one who has failed to provide her with one thing she has ever wanted, and the one who has forced her to live a deprived life of boredom, tedium and evil.
So today I sit at the dining table that is as worn and beaten as I am. I type frenetically on my MacBook. I have the same dreams I had when she was born: to be a writer, to live independently of others, and to have time and freedom to explore my craft. Unfortunately, I have not been able to realize any of these dreams for the past fifteen years. Another child has come. And still the dreams remain.
I look around myself. I am still preparing meals for various people when they are hungry and drop into my hovel. I am still listening to my ex-husband snore on the couch – the present husband, St Timothy of the Incessant Humming, has run to the store to pick up cream cheese, water and caffeine-free soft drinks for the restless natives. Four girls (aged 15 to 5) currently are perching in my home, their cackles can be heard through the closed bedroom door. And I still sit at the dining table, typing away, and wishing my life away, just to be someone else.
Someone who words come easy to. Someone who possesses style and grace, both on the page and the pavement. Someone whose mind does not flit from regret to regression. Someone who does not look back, and is not afraid to look forward.
I may never be a writer. I may fall off the planet tomorrow, either hit by a bus or taken out by my high blood pressure. I may even be crushed by the towers of unread books by my bed. Sweet irony, indeed.
However, I may also lose my mind and have to try to sneak a laptop into the asylum of my choice so I can lull the lunatics with the pitter patter of little keys.
At any rate, we are another year older. Not wiser. And no closer to the goal. But we are still here.