We drive together, just the two of us, most of the time. I plead guilty of trying to do a million things behind the wheel—returning phone calls on my cell, lipstick at a stoplight, a dangerous reach for her snack so I can have some silence, sing-a-long to her favorite music or playing I-spy in between errands. I no longer have to listen to my inner voice, I have Ava, she reminds me often—“Mom, eyes on the road."
Do you ever think about where your kids will be in twenty years? I try not to--most of the time. Only three years in and I already toy with the idea of what Ava will choose to be when she grows up. Sometimes I get a glimpse of her unique gifts and I imagine how she will use her compassion or already impressive negotiating skills, how influential will she become?
At 33 years of age, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve had many enriching experiences thus far in life but still feel it’s only training for something bigger. For a long time, the nagging sense of something more left me full of doubt. I didn’t plan on motherhood revealing it for me. Maybe it was my gained perspective, or the forced adjustment away from my career. Whatever it was, I’m grateful to be enlightened. I understand now how much more I have left to do—one decision or career path won’t define the rest of my life.
I’ve always told myself I would try to remember what it’s like. The day I became her mother, I promised Ava I’d try to maintain perspective—remembering when I was her age (of course this is prior to my experience with raising a teenager; this journal entry will be all the ammunition she will need to use against me in about ten years).
A wise, dear friend of mine said it best. Pam is a mother of six (this alone gives her notable credentials) and I will never forget when she shared her discovery--she could do anything and everything she wanted, just not all at once. Maybe it was just perfect timing, but this resonated with me. I began to believe everything was available to me too—when it was time.
In the coming years, what I choose not to do will become equally important as what I decide to take on. I recognize my greatest influence over Ava happens now, not later. In many ways I’m just the passenger on Ava’s journey, doing my best to keep her between the lines--wherever her destination.