maybe it was the minivan…
There was just something so final about the day we drove that thing home, as if my fate were now sealed. Finally, it was decided- I am nothing more than a mom. Sure, “it’s the best job ever; it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do; the reward far outweighs the pain and struggle of raising your kids; it’s worth everything you have to sacrifice.” But I don’t see it. Something about that cursed van makes me die a little inside every time I drive it. I am what I always dreaded-the minivan mom, the soccer mom, the girl who is defined by nothing but staying home while her husband works, spending his money, running his kids from one activity to the next, and losing her soul a little at a time.
I sound melodramatic but this is my heart. It really has NOTHING to do with the van itself but more to do with the fact that I have no identity of my own. I never have. Growing up, I was “so-and-so’s daughter.” I was part of that church. I was going to that college. Then before I knew it, I was dating him, and then married to him, and then having his kids, and moving as his job dictated. I struggled to find something of MY OWN to grasp through all this. Some days it worked but most days it didn’t. I bounced from one thing to the next, trying to find something to throw my soul into, something that belonged only to me. No, I don’t share, not with this. Everything else in my life is shared. My last name, my house, my space, and even my shoes now that my toddler has taken sole possession of the majority of them. Even this blog is shared although not in the conventional way since very few people have a face to attach to it (and yes, I am keeping it this way, maybe forever.)
I went into a marriage with no idea who I was or what I wanted in life. To put it simply, I wanted what I was told I should want. As a woman, there was never to be a “you.” You were always to be under the thumb and rule of a man, whether that was your father or your husband. If your husband were to die, God forbid, you should then move back with your parents because you just physically could not exist without the direction of a man. Period. There was no debate on that. And this is what I did- jump from one jail cell to the next without realizing I needed to take some time between to fully mature into some semblance of an adult. In many aspects, I am still a child being told what do to and what to believe. The problem arises, though, when that child grows into a teenager albeit very delayed and suddenly realizes there are more choices to be had and balks at the thought of being told what to say or do.
I guess I will still blame it on the van… at least for now.