Posted by: pendrops | March 26, 2008

just living


When I was in third grade, Jenny Tully told me, “Just wait till you get to fourth grade. You’re gonna hate it. And if you get Mrs. O’Hare, it’s gonna be really bad. She’s mean.”

Jenny was a neighborhood playmate and a year older than me. So I believed her. And when I found out that Mrs. O’Hare would be my fourth grade teacher, I spent the entire summer terrified, having nightmares about the monster who would be my teacher.

But then I got to the fourth grade. And I liked it. In fact, it was quite a good year. I liked Mrs. O’Hare, did stellar work on math & my Oregon book report, and made super friends with Abbey Duke.

So fourth grade didn’t turn out the way Jenny said it would.

Then, when I was in high school, former graduates would come back from time to time, to homecoming events and basketball games. And all they could talk about was how hard college was. “Just wait, you’re gonna hate it,” they would say to us trembling underclassmen.

But then I got to college. And I loved it! I mean really loved it. Loved it so much, I did extra work, read extra stories, wrote extra papers, and began a lifelong love affair with reading, writing and learning.

So college didn’t turn out the way they said it would.

But then I stayed single for a long time – like super-duper, ultra-uber single. Never a date, a boyfriend or a good-night kiss on the front stoop. And they would tell me how hard married life was and to treasure my single years. “Just wait,” they would say, “your life will never be your own again. Marriage is really hard.”

But then I got married. And I LOVE it! I mean, to-the-stars-and-back-and-to-the-stars-again LOVE it! And I love my husband in a way I never knew I was capable of loving. And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. And of course there are adjustments, and we’ve faced some ugly stuff together even in two years, but I’ve married my best friend. I wouldn’t trade a second of our lives together to be single again.

So marriage didn’t turn out the way they said it would.

And now they’re telling me, “Just wait till you have a kid. Your life will never be your own again. You can’t do anything. Everything is hard, everything is about the kids. You don’t have sex, you don’t have a life, you don’t sleep, you don’t have any fun. Etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum…”

Now I don’t have a baby yet. And I don’t presume to know what life with a child of any age is like. But I do know that I’ve had people telling me my whole life what the next step is gonna look like and, generally, how awful it’s gonna be. And it has never looked like they said it would.

I’ve decided, I’m done “just waiting.” I’ve been “just waiting,” buying the lie that the next thing is some hairy scary monster because someone a few steps ahead of me tells me that’s the way it is.

So, if you’ve got something to say about how hard having a baby is gonna be, or how bad moving into a house is gonna be, or how terrible turning 30, or 40, or 50 is gonna be, you should try scaring someone else. Because I’m not just waiting anymore… I’m just living.



  1. I love reading your thoughts! You have so much insight and wisdom…and kids are amazing (even though Im not a mom) Im sure it changes your life but in a most magical way!

  2. What a terrific post! I’ve heard the same sort of stuff over the years–makes me wonder. Loved school, loved college, enjoying my life. d:)

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