For pretty much all of my life, I have been "waiting" for it to start. When I was a little girl, I had my adulthood all planned out. I would have my career going strong by 24, meet the man of my dreams and get married by 26 and give birth to my first baby by 28.
Well, I got the first part right, at least. But for the rest, life was just one big waiting game.
When I graduated college and moved into my first apartment alone, I didn't want to purchase anything new because I figured I would "register" for it when I got married. Not coincidentally, I'm still using the same white dishes 16 years later. However, for the more coveted items, I set benchmarks for when I could buy them, barring the wedding registry. At age 28, I gave in and bought the $300 kitchen mixer I'd always dreamed of. When I was 31, I decided it was time for my honeymoon trip to Jamaica, so I took a girlfriend and went to the Hedonism Resort instead of Sandals. At 32, I bought a home. My white college dishes moved with me.
One thing that never changed throughout the years was my car. I always drove a utility vehicle, a "mom car" if you will. I used the excuse that I needed something large enough to fit all of my nieces and nephews, and I could be there in a pinch if a friend needed to move a bed. Truth be told, I was just waiting to put a baby seat in the back. Kind of the "if you build it, they will come" theory.
Recently, I realized that while waiting for my life to "start," I had missed some very important single girl moments. I keep diapers and wipes in my bathroom cupboard in case my friends come over with their babies. I have numerous toys and games in my hall closet; I know what's on Nickelodeon; I get the Pottery Barn Kids catalog in the mail -- and I read it. It became evident that a major single girl makeover was needed, pronto.
So I decided to ditch the mom car and buy a flashy convertible. Saying goodbye to my seven-seater, part of me felt like I was bidding farewell to my "plan." After all, this was the car that was supposed to have sun shades on the rear windows and decals of the little family members and their dog on the back (not really, I can't stand those). But I knew it had to be done.
As I watched the car drive away, I heard echoes of my nieces and nephews arguing over their seats, sounds of the rear windows rolling up and down 50 times or perhaps my favorite, the little "are we almost there" voices from the back seat. My stomach was in knots.
But then I looked at my shiny new baby, with its sleek lines and custom wheels and I smiled. No, I won't have room for those big Costco runs, and my friends will have to move themselves. I can't fit all of my nieces and nephews at once, but I can still take two at a time if I want. If I need to, I'll bet I can even fit a baby seat in back.
Oh, and my dishes are holding up pretty well, so I think I can wait and register for those.