When I was a little girl and I would imagine my ideal future, I pictured a life of independence and work. I saw myself as a career-driven woman rocking it at work. I imagined myself living in a big city and jumping at every possible opportunity to travel. I knew I would date but didn’t see myself getting married until my late 20’s-early 30’s. I thought maybe I wanted children, but I honestly wasn’t sure. When I dreamed of my ‘perfect day’, I saw myself in a suit with coffee in hand, walking into my corporate job. I would run the show. I’d spend my evenings going on dates with handsome guys or having fun nights out drinking and dancing with my girlfriends. I would come home to my nice one-bedroom apartment and fall to sleep in my giant bed right in the center. This vision was what I had always imagined for myself. My siblings married young and settled down in our small town. That wasn’t a live I wanted. I dreamed of something bigger, and what I thought at the time, better.
Oh, how the tables have turned. My life has not turned out the way that I thought it would. I do love my job, but I am not some corporate workaholic. I settled down in a small town and I live out in the country. I don’t go on dates with handsome men, because I picked the perfect one and made him mine many years ago. The children I thought I may one day have, are now a treasured reality. I can’t imagine a future without my little man and any future children we may have. I don’t like drinking and the only dancing I really do is around the living room with my son or in Zumba class at the Y. And when I come home – I do fall asleep in my giant bed, but I am never alone. Nowadays, when I think of my ‘perfect day’, an entirely different movie plays in my mind.
I wake up and the sun is shining through the cracks in the blinds. The window is open and I can hear the birds chirping and there’s a slight breeze flowing in. I roll over and a small smile starts to form. My husband is lying next to me and he looks so peaceful. I love watching him sleep. It’s one of the rare times he’s actually at rest. I kiss him on the forehead and slowly climb out of bed so I don’t wake him. I quietly cross the hallway and slowly creak open my son’s door. I don’t know if he’s awake so I try not to make a sound. I peer into his crib and he’s already up, playing with his feet and practicing his babbles. He sees me and a grin spreads across his face, reaches his eyes, and touches my heart. He reaches out for me and I pick him up. I give him a big kiss on the cheek and wish him “Good morning!” He giggles and rubs his face on my shoulder. He’s still sleepy and I love this time of day. My son is a morning person. I don’t know how because my husband and I are not. I love it though because he immediately brightens my day with his cuddles and laughter.
We head into the kitchen and get the coffee going. I put some eggs on the stove and place him in his high chair. He eats some Cheerios and throws some to the dog. It’s a game for him and he giggles every time she gobbles one up. I finish up breakfast and go to wake my husband. I kiss him on the cheek and whisper good morning. I tell him breakfast is ready because that always gets him moving. I leave to let him get up for the day and head back to the kitchen. My son has finished his Cheerios so I pick him up. We head out front to let the dog run and he jumps in anticipation. He loves watching the dog run and the birds fly. The sun is shining, it’s warm out already, and I can feel the breeze. It’s going to be a beautiful spring day.
We head back inside and my husband has showered and is nursing a mug of coffee. We sit down for breakfast, while our son plays with his blocks on the floor. We talk plans for the day and my husband reaches out and kisses me, tucking my hair behind my ear. Seven years in and I still feel my heart quicken at this little gesture. I am loved.
My perfect day now looks entirely different from what I ever pictured when I was younger. The things I wasn’t sure I ever wanted are the things that I now hold most dear. The priorities I upheld then take second-place to my family. I never thought this would be the life I would have, but I have never been so grateful. When I look around my house and into the eyes of my husband and child, my heart is overflowing. I have never had so much to love and have never been so loved before. While I’m not saying life is perfect, it’s pretty darn close. I may not be happy all day every day, but I am happy every day. And that makes every day the perfect day.