I haven't blogged in forever and it's not like Auntie literally harasses me everyday to do so. But, almost everyday (when I'm reading others blogs), I imagine Auntie on her graveyard shift, peering at her computer screen, cold fingers, sorely disappointed yet again that I haven't posted anything.
And disappointing my family is the last thing I want to do.
So, disappointment, it shall be! The topic of this blog, that is. Because I don't want to disappoint Auntie.
Before I was with child, my uncle told me not to have children, or rather, do so knowing that they are bound to disappoint you. I'm not sure what that means exactly. Or whose fault that is. Is it because children are innately wired to make their parents' lives difficult? Or is it because parents hold exceedingly impossible expectations for their children? So they're set up for disappointment.
(By the by, my cousins, his children, have probably turned out to be some of the most perfect un-disappointing children I know.)
When it comes to children, is it really a matter of expectations and disappointment? Or can your vision of your child's life be framed, instead, in terms of hopes? Or is it (d) all of the above?
I know that I disappointed my parents. But, did I live up to their expectations? I'm not even sure what they were, if they ever sat me down and told me or if there were subliminal messages hidden in Daddy's tuna casserole. I probably made up a set of expectations to fit my own strengths and preferences: straight A's, prestigious college, M.Ed. Done, done and done.
No makeup until you're 16! But, Mommy introduced me to Shisedo at 13, so that's not my fault.
No boyfriends... EVER. I could have pursued the lesbian loophole, but instead made it to 15 whereupon I learned that 15 year old boys are losers who ditch you at Winter Formal because you're too much of a "good girl" to go to an unsupervised house party. But, apparently, I figured 17 year old boys were an improvement. Well, I didn't get knocked up, so there's that.
A car, a house and credit in my name before marriage. Two out of three. And I can boast a better credit score than my husband!
A piano prodigy. Sorry, Daddy. My long fingers are good at other things though! Typing... like right now I'm doing at least 80wpm... cooking, sewing, drawing/painting, picking my nose.
I was arrested, probably had a boyfriend too early, went away to college breaking my mother's heart, seemingly rushed into a marriage and a soon to be baby. Don't really have much of a career path. But, I hope I'm not a disappointment. I hope that these facts of my life are not about disappointment and expectations, but about their hopes for me.
What did my parents hope for me? What do I hope for my daughter?
I've traveled, survived on my own, explored my gifts and talents, surrounded myself with good people, I'm a good person, I'm empathetic and compassionate, I love my family, I'm carrying around another grandchild (isn't that a form of redemption in and of itself?) One day I'll find my passion, my way to meet the world's needs. I'll continue to fulfill my parents' hopes. I hope.
Maybe it's a spectrum? Disappointment being the things you don't ever want for your child. Expectations being the minimum rules/regulations/life logistics you want your child to follow (or ELSE.. right?) and hopes being the dreams you dream for your child to live a full life, the dreams I dream for this little, squirmy baby inside of me right now.