While in High School, I dreamt of being a wife and a mother a bit excessively.
Many were the nights I would lay awake, thinking of the future life I hoped to have.
I kept a list of potential baby names.
I prayed for my future husband to be strengthened in whatever challenges he would face.
I purchased a giant LoveSac on a huge sale, presumably because I thought it would be neat to have in my room, but really because I imagined the fun my future children would have with it (and they do!).
I requested catalogs from bridal dress shops so I could flip through the pages and dream.
I swooned over Josh Groban's deeply romantic love songs.
I pored over wedding guides,
and once I even went to a wedding expo in Salt Lake City just for fun!
It was there that I was given a DVD of sample wedding videos and I watched them repeatedly, always hoping my date-less history was not a sign of what was to come, as I yearned with all my heart to be a wife and mother.
And those dreams were realized very quickly.
I was delighted and surprised to become a 19-year-old bride,
and my heart was filled to the bursting as I stared into my newborn baby boy's eyes just 9 1/2 months later.
It was literally a dream come true.
But I recently realized something.
This is the stage of life I always dreamt of...
and it's quickly disappearing.
While the days of new motherhood sometimes drug on everlastingly,
the years have flown by and I'm gradually entering a new stage.
My dreams were full of activities I would do with my tiny children as they spent their days in my care--
they were full of romantic visions of my husband and I "living on love" as we plowed through graduate school.
Science fair projects, unwanted peer influences, and sporting events were absent from those teenage dreams.
Becoming empty nesters was never something that filled me with delight as I drifted off to sleep.
And while retirement is something we plan for and even look forward to,
it's not something I have a real passion for.
And I've struggled to accept that my dream is passing away.
I reached what I considered to be the climax of my life before I even left my 20s.
And it's hard to think of life ever again being as good as it has been thus far.
Oh, I don't mean to sound overly idealistic.
Sometimes being a young mother is downright difficult, my patience runs thin, and a continual prayer in my heart is all that keeps me sane.
But at the same time, this is my dream come true!
And so, as I lay awake last night, I decided I needed to form some new dreams for our future.
Because I don't want to live the rest of my life feeling like the climax has passed.
I want to continue to be a dreamer,
to fantasize about our future and make plans that we look forward to and work toward.
It is up to me to enjoy the future stages of life every bit as I have enjoyed this phase.
And so with those thoughts on the horizon,
I press forward with hope,
but simultaneously I hold my babies just a little closer.
(PS-If you want to have a good "Mommy-cry," just read this book.)