I had a plan, when I was in 8th grade that I believed in with all my heart until I graduated from high school. I was going to be a teacher, I was going to live on a ranch and train horses all by myself, because I was never going to be married and certainly never going to have any children. Kids were always … sticky. Men were always trying to boss me around. When I remember that plan, it’s the one time in my life when I think that there might just be a God, because how else, two marriages and four children later, could things have drastically come to a different point?
I thought about change today, while I was making black raspberry jelly from berries picked from my woods, while the chickens clucked and purred under the window and my husband’s chainsaw ran its protesting teeth through the Birch tree we plan to use to warm our house this winter. I thought about how I never would have imagined this life when I was busy making plans.
Facebook has forced me to look back on my life. I really hate that, because, for lack of a better, more cultivated word, I was an asshole. One big bundle of ME hormones all shoved into Chic jeans and Limited shirts. When I look at the faces of the people I went to school with, read their daily stories, I wonder if they look back like I do. I wish I could fly them out to my house, one by one, and show them how different I am now. I would like to have them meet my students, drive over the cavernous ruts in my driveway, talk with me while I rustle up my Cowboy Spaghetti or lasagna or BBQ ribs and the kids do a good job of not breaking their necks on the trampoline, telling me about how they hate or love their bosses or their iPhone, and how school is getting close to starting, the summer goes by so fast! I want to know them like I never did. I guess I wish I had a do-over, like I could stand in the yard and yell “allleeee-allleeee-all-come-free!” and I could really be a friend this time.