There are so many things along my little way in life that I have proclaimed I would never do. So, so many. I can remember at the ripe old age of seventeen just wanting to cut the grass so badly. I begged my dad - please let me cut the grass. I thought it would be a great way to get out in the yard and get some sun. He declined. Something about he didn't want me out in the front yard in my bathing suit for all the neighborhood to look at. I think I understand where he was coming from now, but then, I was crushed. Why, I don't know, because just a few short years later, I proclaimed, "I will never cut the grass. That's man's work."
I now cut the grass. And I hate to do it. I sweat. A lot. The other day, I sweat so much that it was rolling down in to my ears. And I always end up with a headache afterwards. I also obsess about how straight my lines are and which direction I should cut this time. It is just one of those things I swore I would never do that I now do.
I remember a time in my life I wasn't certain I wanted children. In fact, I can remember feeling pretty sure I didn't want them. That was during the time I worked at the mall, and there's really nothing that will convince you that you don't want kids of your own more than working in a small coffee shop and watching young mothers come through pulling their hair out and repeating their child's name 163 times while in your store. I remember one Saturday afternoon when a young mother came in with her son, James. I know his name because his mother said it before every sentence she started. "James, don't do that. James, come here. James, don't touch that." I remember looking at her like she were from another planet and thinking to myself, "I will never be like that." Hmmmm. Here I am, some fifteen years later, pulling my hair out as I type and definitely knowing now what planet that poor, young mother came from. The pits of mommy hell, that's where. And there's nothing worse than the pits of mommy hell taking a field trip to the mall and entering one small coffee shop full of breakables. And I now understand why she was there - she NEEDED that coffee. Like no body's business, she needed that coffee. And if I knew then what I know now, I would have thrown in a bottle of whiskey with her purchase just for good measure. But I didn't know. I didn't know her frustrations, and I certainly never believed that I would be her one day. Just not with a James.
I also never dreamed I would shovel poop in my backyard. Never dreamed it. I can remember watching my mom as she would retrieve the shovel and walk around hunting the piles of feces and scooping them up one at a time. "How gross," I would think. "I'll never do that." Now, I think I could do it every day, as I am certain Buddy poops seven times in a 24 hour cycle. I can scoop it all up, and guaranteed, within minutes, he is at it again. It just never stops. And if there is one thing to make you question your place in the world, it is definitely walking around your own darn yard and hunting piles of poop that belong to an animal that can't even talk. Just doesn't seem right. Seems like it should be the dog cleaning up after the humans.
I also can remember watching my mom brush her teeth when I was younger. She would just brush and brush and let the foamy stuff from the toothpaste sorta run down her hand. Yet another thing I swore I'd never do. It just seemed so weird. How could she stand all that stuff on her hand? Just a few weeks ago, as I was brushing my teeth after drinking my morning coffee (yet another thing I thought I would never do - be addicted to coffee), I glanced up at myself in the mirror and realized that all the foamy stuff from my toothpaste was dripping all down my hand. And it just didn't phase me. Didn't seem so gross anymore. I guess after you have picked up piles of stinky dog poo, cleaned up vomit off of carpet, washed your kid's poop out of the bath tub, dug splinters out of a kid's toe, had snot wiped on your leg, found boogers on the door of your car, cleaned up cat puke from every square inch of your home... well, I guess after you have done all these things you thought you'd never do, nothing really phases you anymore. Not much at all.