Monday, December 12, 2011

My Weird Brain

It takes a very long time to alter an image you’ve had in your head for over thirty years. We all have images of what our lives will be like in the future – a future picture of ourselves that we take for granted.

The first time I had to change my mental image of my future was when my Mom died nearly twelve years ago. It was literally a life-changing event, and suddenly I had to change the vision I had of my future. Mom wouldn’t retire and come to visit every Christmas. She wouldn’t have my kids over for cookie-making and finger painting. It took a very long time to come to terms with, and to change, that cozy image I had of her as part of my future life.

Recently I have again had to change that picture I have in my head, but this time it’s in a positive way.

For years I have thought about my future kids. My husband and I were well in our thirties when we started the family-making plan, so we had hundreds of conversations about our future kids. I pictured taking “my kids” to museums, teaching them to bake and cook, singing with them at our piano. The kids in my head were never the same. Sometimes I envisioned two boys, sometimes it was a girl, sometimes it was just a nebulous idea of children.

Now, I have a son. It’s still a weird thing to say, since we only got him less than four months ago. And even though we have him and he is here and laughing and cooing and eating and pooping, I have yet to alter that original picture. Just this afternoon I daydreamed as I drove in my car, about taking my kids to the UNLV campus where I was headed, and my imagination envisioned a blonde curly-headed girl balking at the idea of strolling the shady campus. Then I laughed out loud. We have a son! A real son, with big blue eyes and chubby legs and an easy laugh. I quickly made the switch, and imagined taking our actual son to the campus someday for a performance or ballgame, or just to ride his tricycle on the safe, wide sidewalks.

The brain is a weird thing. Or maybe it’s just me.

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