Today I'm doing a fun blog hop (hosted by Stephen Tremp, Elise Fallson, Mark Koopmans and C.M. Brown) where we're supposed to tell our readers something interesting about ourselves as a re-introduction. This happens to tie in nicely with my usual Monday Listicles topic for this week, so I'm doing them together in one post. Click the buttons to join in!
If the following list doesn't give you insight into my strange mind, nothing will. Here are 10 things I thought as a child I would do or be (prompt courtesy of Wendy at Twisted Domestic Goddess):
1) I thought I would shave my head.
Among nature's dubious gifts to me is a head of what is universally regarded as bad hair, as TV and countless schoolyard taunts have taught me. It's brown. It's frizzy. It's curly. Except in the places where it's randomly straight, lending the whole mess a thoroughly deranged, uneven appearance. Before I learned of the existence of flat irons, I was so ashamed of my wretched hair I could hardly hold my head up straight.
Then one day I read about a miracle that could transform me into a beautiful swan. Apparently if you shaved your head, the hair often grew in differently than before. It was too much to hope for it to grow in blonde, but it could certainly grow in straight! I was so excited. The thing was, there was that whole bald phase. Maybe the summer before junior high wasn't the right time for my transformation. I decided to wait until I was done high school and would no longer care what I looked like. Strangely when the time came, I put it off until I was done university. Then until I was 30. Barring any scary health crises, I think I'm stuck with this hair for life.
2) I thought I would become a professional editor.
The reason why I became a chartered accountant instead is here.
3) I thought I would eat unlimited amounts of candy.
My mother was a health nut while I was growing up, obsessing about natural ingredients and the evils of sugar to the point that I became confused about where Christianity ended and buying rice cakes on sale began. At recess I would look mournfully at the other children, eating their Wagon Wheels while listening to Salt'n'Pepa on their Walkmans and dream of the day when I would have enough money to buy as much candy as I wanted.
It was a cruel, cruel day when I discovered that my concave stomach and lack of sugar were related, and that being able to afford unlimited amounts of candy did not lead to the blissful state of existence I had expected.
4) I thought I would be child-free.
I have never liked kids. In sixth grade, we were forced to partner with kindergarten students and read with them for an hour every Wednesday afternoon. It was the lowlight of my week. The books were painfully simple and my charge, Christine, was a sullen gnome who hated me on sight. Every interaction I had with younger kids was boring and/or irritating beyond belief, and by the time I was an adult, I knew having children was a life experience I would prefer to avoid.
However, my husband loved kids as much as I disliked them and I prayed with increasing desperation throughout my 20's for my missing maternal genes to kick in. My biological clock finally woke up around 30 and I love my two children fiercely. I still choose not to spend my free time at Chuck E. Cheese, and if I had met a man who didn't want kids, that wouldn't have been a deal-breaker. But I treasure the two little people I have been given to nurture and guide through life; getting to know and love them is one of my greatest joys.
5) I thought I would become a cat hoarder.
My parents held fast in their refusal to allow us to have any pets larger than a caged rabbit, and I had grand plans for the cat sanctuary I would build in my house when I was grown up. I did welcome a fur baby or two, but the feline fun was over once our actual babies came along. Sometimes parents do know what they're doing.
6) I thought I would find the magic.
I was a very imaginative child and had such vivid, lucid dreams that I actually believed they must be happening on some level. Fairies and supernatural beings always seemed to be at the edge of my vision, and I thought if I could just look quickly enough in the right place, I would catch a glimpse of them. I was sure the day would come when I would find the edge of the film of mundane reality, and peel it back to reveal the lush beauty of a magical land underneath. Losing my sense of mystery and magic in the world is the saddest thing that has happened to me.
7) I thought I would wait until I was married to have sex.
8) I thought I would always be busy on Sunday mornings.
Growing up as a devout Christian, I never thought I would become an atheist who uses Sunday morning to sleep in (thank you, dear husband) or go to the gym rather than to church.
9) I thought I would move somewhere warm.
Trudging through the gritty grey snow as the -20 degree wind slashed at my cheeks, I daydreamed about living in a place where the temperature never dropped below 25 and the sky was always blue. As soon as I was old enough, I had every intention of blowing this icy popsicle stand. But then I met a guy (aka my husband), so I stayed in town for university and by the time I graduated I wasn't sure about moving anymore. The warmest place in Canada was on the other side of the country, where the real estate prices were so out of control we would have to live under a bridge or with roommates for the rest of our lives.
I briefly considered other countries, but I'm a true-blooded Canadian and the thought of living anywhere else made me feel disoriented and panicky. I don't know or care anything about football and believe basic health care is a human right, along with a maternity leave longer than a few weeks. I think guns belong to police officers and registered hunters with a thorough background check and waiting period longer than two hours. Nobody else. Clearly I wouldn't fit in in many areas of the U.S.
So I stayed rooted where I grew up in southern Ontario, Canada and have grown to love the variety of our four distinct seasons. Coincidentally this love developed after I got a car and no longer had to walk outside for 3+ hours every day.
10) I thought I would be everything at once.
Sometimes adulthood feels like a series of closing doors. I wouldn't change the path I've chosen, but I feel wistful thinking of the open horizons of youth, when mutually exclusive dreams shimmered in front of me with equal possibility.