The Things We Imagine

Confession: I have a vision in my head of how this post will turn out. I’m pretty sure that it won’t live up to that vision, but I’m going to try.

Yesterday, we sat around the table having lunch together. We had pizza breads, salad, and cheesy potatoes. The boys were engaged in conversation with us, we were enjoying talking with them, Porter was just hanging out, enjoying being part of it. (We’ve been picking him up when he squawks saying, “Oh, you just want to be part of it!” And we’re pretty sure that’s all he wants.) It was another one of those moments I imagined when I imagined having children of my own: the time spent together as part of a family.

We have these from time to time. Sometimes it’s an excursion that goes really well; other times it’s just some quiet play time at home. I look around and think, “This is what I imagined!” However, the human brain is a spectacular thing. Most of my time with the boys is most emphatically not the rosy picture of imagination. It’s fun, but it’s work. Those moments, though, when I can look back and say, “that–that is what I hoped it would be like,” are what keep us going through the bodily fluids everywhere, the tantrums, the sleepless nights, playing the same game 85 times in a row, etc.

I have lowered my expectations a lot over the last five year. It helps to go back to when Gilbert was born to remember that our mantra was Lower Expectations! We still remind new parents of this. My expectations were lots of travel and exploration as a way to have fun as a family. We’ve done some of this, but not as much as I imagined. (Now I have to go feed a baby. So I knew the post would fall short!)

Gilbert was having a late dinner the other night (finally finishing what was on his plate), and Patrick had him set up at the table. He picked up his plate and scuttled over to us sitting on the couch. He got up and said, “I just want to be part of it.” I think, more than anything, that’s what we imagine when we have a family, the ability to always have someone to be part of it with.

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