What’s the very first thing you can remember thinking, “That’s what I wanna be when I grow up!”- do you remember? I just did. I had a flash in my mind that took me back to a time long before I ever wanted to be anything other than a mother. And I only knew I wanted that because I already knew I wanted him- he was always in my heart, on my mind or in my dreams even long before he actually existed: I’m two years and four months older than him- but he was with me even when I was born.
The only other strong, instinctual drive I’d felt up to this point: about six or seven years of age, was just to figure out a way to make it all better. And by all, I meant the entire universe, as best as I was able to comprehend it, but mostly people: I saw where people kept seeming to go wrong, and I simply felt a strong and natural desire to make it right.
And so, standing in the tiny library of my small, segregated school of no more than two hundred kids, all of whom lived right there beside it in the heart of “Old North Knoxville,” in the city of Knoxville, in the county of Knox, in the state of Tennessee, in the United States of America, on the continent of North America, in the Northern/Western hemispheres I saw on a pull-down map in my classroom which, up to that point, had been my only visual representation of the world at large back in 1988. And I knew it was a vast world I could only hope to ever get the chance to even explore-let alone change- unless I were like a President or something. THAT’S IT: I’d just become President! Then I’d be able to fix it ALL!
I know what you’re thinking: crazy, huh? Of course, by the time I was in fifth grade, I’d learned that politics was nothing more than popularity contests to the extreme: hence my simply running for class treasurer- knowing I could never compete for the presidency against my dearest friend!!!
But still, I remember- for a fleeting moment in time- the first thing that I’d ever actually thought, “I want to be that when I grow up!” was to be President! I remember looking it up in the library that day: “requirement list for becoming a President of the United States of America.” Only we didn’t have Google Search- I had to use the actual card catalog as well as my own personal knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System.
It was the mid-late ’80s, but I found what I could at that time: reference material with the requirements for being elected as a President of the USA- it said I must be born in the United States: check! And the only other requirement that this replica of some scroll-looking document pictured on the pages in the book I was reading stated that I must be at least 35yrs of age.
Well, that settled it then: obviously I’d just have to wait until I was old enough, then I’d run for president!
Well, guess what!? My thirty-fifth birthday happens to fall the year of the next presidential election. Am I planning to run? Of course not!!! I’d given up on that dream almost as fast as I’d had it because, unlike the mothers who see hope in the future through their children, mine made it clear early-on that we were never meant to amount to anything more than what we already were. I’d just believed in myself that I could find a way to be more. But once she let me know those were “crazy ideas,” I just started keeping them buried deep in the back of my mind while I attempted to figure out what I was intended to do.
Twenty-five plus years later, here I am: doing nothing, having nothing, having amounted to nothing at all. I do not have any proof of my skills because my skills have been self-taught along the way by utilizing technology to learn what I wanted to and when, as well as following the examples of the handful tossed along my path to help lead me into the right direction. I have no degree or pedigree, for that matter. There’d be absolutely nothing on a resume qualifying me for any job or career in which I could truly make such a difference as to be satisfied or even fulfilled and financially sustained by my work. I can’t even get hired as a cashier at this point- trust me: I’ve put in several, albeit reluctant, applications!
Now, I don’t even get to be the first and last thing that I wanted even in infancy myself: a perfect mother. Of course, I still will be involved in my children’s lives- M.H. doesn’t hate me that much for my mistakes- I’ll just be more of a background mom: one who supports from the sideline while letting someone else coach the team and call the plays. And as much as it sucks that I’ll never be President, (although I’d prob have at least a snowball’s chance in hell if I were to run…) it sucks most that I will never again truly feel like I’m a mom either. I’ll always feel like a mother: always have, always will. I mean the feeling you get when you actually do become somebody’s “mama” or whatever the people you made from your own body and for whose livelihood you are now solely responsible call you on that first, highly-anticipated occasion when they do call you something- that later will become your least of favorite words in their vocabulary right along with “no” and “can I get” by the time they are teens.
But then, eventually they’ll be gone: hopefully for yours- grown, ready to live on their own. But for mine, the time for letting go came far sooner than I had anticipated: my oldest is just embarking on her journey into womanhood, my youngest has yet to embark even upon school. But I have no choice in this moment: my reality is very clear. I must resign myself to being merely a spectator in the lives and development of my children, knowing full-well that, if not for Him, I certainly won’t have the option of ever having any more.
I wanted to be me, I wanted to be he, I wanted to be we, but now I’m never going to be any of the three…
…so I guess I’ll run for president!
An original work by *crptnite*
All content is to be considered fictional and any likeness to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental- all truths are said in jest 😉
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