In the beginning, I was an almost 18 year old freshman at an Ivy League University. I was full of naivety, hope, and ready to change the world. And ...I had been admitted to med school as a freshman in undergrad. It was kind of a big deal. I felt like I was kind of a big deal. I certainly had big plans for the future which involved third world countries and the peace corps. A couple of years later, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant and unwilling to be a mom and a medical student at the same time. And then suddenly, the force of my naivety hit me when I discovered the awful secret about the baby's father and I was alone. I have vivid memories of rocking and nursing her in those first few months - promising to us both that someday we would have everything that we were supposed to. The beautiful home, the outrageously big back yard full of play equipment. Everything made safe by a white picket fence. Siblings to keep her company when she was old and I was gone. A dad for her that would love her as his own. A husband that I would somehow be able to trust after being traumatized. I spent hours planning our future, somehow feeling that if I did everything right she would be alright without a dad. She would thrive with my decision to exclude him from her life. I made lists. And more lists. Crossed off tasks one by one, week by week, sometimes year by year. I finished my undergraduate degree and started saving money. I started and finished a Master's degree. I thought and planned and planned some more.
And now ....I am here. Thirteen years later, I am finally here. Career? Check. The beautiful house? Check. The dad for my amazing daughter? Check. The husband that I love? Check. The trust that I didn't think could ever come back? Check. The backyard? Check. The most amazing maintenance free white picket fence I've ever seen? Check. The so-far perfect and apparently perfectly unscathed teenager? Check. The siblings to keep her company? Not so much. Self-diagnosed PCOS and three miscarriages? Umm....wait. That wasn't on my list.
Guess that white picket fence doesn't protect us from everything.