I went to journalism school with a guy who loves baseball. In fact, he wouldn’t even consider a hard news job. He wanted sports only, and preferably baseball. He grew up watching MLB and he had a dream to sit in the press box watching baseball every day and write about it. He took a job writing for a suburban paper for his home town. He started out covering women’s volleyball and eventually worked his way up to be his paper’s sports reporter for the local MLB team. He goes to Florida for spring training and covers the team throughout the season.
After the first year on this assignment, I was talking to him and asked if it was everything he hoped it would be. He was the only person I knew working at their childhood dream job. We don’t all get to grow up to be firefighters and race car drivers. He said it was great and awful all at the same time. He said he lived in the basement apartment of his parent’s house because he traveled 9 months of the year and keeping his own place made no sense. He has no wife or girlfriend, and every time he met a nice girl, he hit the road again and it fizzled out before it went anywhere serious. He made no money, slept in cheap hotels, ate bad stadium food. But he got sit in the press box every day and write about baseball. And what could be better than that?
I was feeling particularly clever that day and popped off, “That, my friend, is getting what you asked for.”
This weekend, after I went a little nuts upon realizing Monkey Boy was standing at the toilet aiming for the bathroom trashcan to see if he could hit it, the thought hit me: this feeling of a life spiraling out of control is exactly what I asked for. I prayed for YEARS for a baby. I begged God to give me a child not having a solitary clue what that would be like. Particularly ‘pious’ people liked to tell me at that time that if I just prayed harder, then I could finally have a baby. They liked to reference the Old Testament story of Hannah. I think if that story included the potty training years, I wouldn’t have felt so desperate about this whole Mommy business. It’s slow motion insanity. That’s really one area I didn’t need any help.
Make no mistake, I love Monkey Boy more than my life and being his mom is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s really hard. Some days debilitating so. And it’s exactly what I asked for.